Nursing home neglect is different than nursing home abuse. In abuse cases, the act or acts by the perpetrator are almost always intentional. In nursing home abuse cases, we typically see a failure to adhere to a standard of care that causes damages to the nursing home resident. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nursing home neglect is “the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs.” These needs include food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene and essential medical care.” The failure to meet a nursing home resident’s basic needs is actionable.
Causes of Nursing Home Neglect
There are three main reasons why a nursing home resident might suffer nursing home neglect. Those follow:
- Staffing Issues: If there aren’t a sufficient number of nursing home employees to care for residents, the quality of care is naturally going to decrease. Overworked staff members only have two hands, and they can only be in one place at a time.
- Negligent Hiring of Employees: The failure to perform an adequate background check before hiring a worker can cause dangers for nursing home residents, especially if an employee has been neglected in the past. He or she is more likely to neglect nursing home patients.
- Inadequate Training: There is a minimum standard of care that every nursing home in Kentucky must meet. Hands-on resident care employees must have adequate training to meet the minimum standard of care. A failure to meet that standard is likely to result in patient neglect.
Types of Neglect
Nursing home neglect is seen in a variety of ways. Here are a few types of neglect that residents, their friends and family members need to be aware of:
- Medical Neglect: If a nursing home fails to meet a resident’s health care needs, it’s likely that nursing home neglect has occurred. A few examples of medical neglect would be a failure to administer medications in a timely manner, a patient developing bedsores because staff fails to move him or her or failing to call a doctor when an illness or infection is clearly present.
- Social or Emotional Neglect: Social interaction is important to the emotional and mental health of anybody. If a nursing home resident has been restricted from socialization, social or emotional neglect might have occurred.
- Failure to Provide Basic Living Needs: Nursing home residents deserve a healthy place to live. A clean room and common areas, safe food, water and temperatures are fundamental to maintaining wellness.
- Personal Hygiene: Every nursing home resident must look after their personal hygiene. If a resident can’t do that on their own, staff must do it form him or her. Clothes and bedding must be changed, and showers or baths must be regularly taken or given.
Signs of Neglect
When visiting your friend or loved one, you might see certain signs of neglect. Here are a few signs that nursing home neglect might be occurring:
- Cuts, bruises or fractures without satisfactory explanations.
- Dehydration or malnutrition.
- Dirty or stained clothing or bedding.
- No socialization with other residents or staff.
- Conditions or injuries that go untreated.
Failure to give proper care to a nursing home resident in Kentucky can result in a civil lawsuit or criminal prosecution. If you suspect nursing home neglect with your friend or family member as the victim, contact you suspect nursing home neglect of your friend or family member in or around Lexington, contact local police, and then, contact Kentucky Adult Protection Services at 800-753-6200. After you’ve reported the suspected abuse, contact us here at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC to arrange for a free consultation and case review with a quality and compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer from our offices. If we’re retained to represent you or the nursing home resident, our objective will be to obtain the maximum settlement or award that’s deserved in the case.