Nursing Home Negligence

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Nursing home negligence can show itself in a many ways, including physical, emotional or neglect. You should heed the following indicators:

  • Physical Abuse
    • Open wounds, cuts, bruises, welts or discoloration.
    • Caretaker can not adequately explain condition.
    • Elder's sudden change in behavior.
    • Loss of weight.
    • Burns caused by cigarettes, caustics, acids.
  • Emotional Abuse
    • Emotionally upset or agitated.
    • Extremely withdrawn & non-communicative.
    • Unusual behavior [sucking, biting, rocking].
  • Neglect
    • Dehydration, malnutrition, pressure sores.
    • Poor personal hygiene.
    • Begs for food.
    • Unsanitary and unclean conditions.
    • Dirt, soiled bed, fecal or urine odor.

When a nursing home professional fails to prevent the injury and suffering of patients, as their professional duty of care implies, they can be held liable for the victim's damage in a nursing home neglect case. Nursing home neglect can involve any situation where a long-term care patient does not receive the physical, emotional, and psychological care necessary to facilitate the highest possible quality of life. When a facility or nursing home professional commits nursing home neglect, the victims have a legal right to seek compensation for their losses and suffering.

While nursing home neglect generally involves failing to provide appropriate patient care, this type of medical malpractice can take a number of forms. Aside from the actual damages nursing home neglect causes, the most frustrating and tragic element of nursing home neglect is that it can be difficult for the patient's loved ones to recognize neglect. Whether physically unable or held back by emotions, patients may be unable to properly convey their experiences of nursing home neglect to someone who can help.

Signs and Causes of Neglect

There are, however, signs that may indicate that a patient is the victim of nursing home neglect. Patient's loved ones can be aware of the signs that a patient may be suffering physically, psychologically, cognitively, or other abuse and report them promptly.

  • inappropriate use of chemical and physical restraint
  • unexplained accidents
  • injury or death
  • drastic change in a patient's condition in a short period of time
  • patient isolation
  • signs of dehydration or malnutrition
  • bed sores
  • unsanitary conditions
  • untreated pain or other medical symptoms
  • poor or under-trained staff

Indications of nursing home neglect may include any or all other the following:

  • patient's daily living needs are not fulfilled
  • restraint is used inappropriately
  • isolation of patients
  • bedsores
  • fractures
  • slip and fall accidents
  • unexplained injuries or death
  • unsanitary conditions
  • dehydration
  • malnutrition
  • improper medication
  • untreated conditions
  • poor staffing

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act

In response to the devastatingly high rates of nursing home neglect and abuse in our nation's nursing homes, the federal government has enacted a number of laws intended to protect patients. The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act provides national nursing home standards of care and spells out the rights of nursing home patients. The law states that facilities will be evaluated periodically to ensure that every facility is in compliance with the law. If cases of nursing home neglect are found or reported to a government agency, the facility can be penalized accordingly.

Contact an Attorney Near You

While these laws exist to protect patients, nursing home neglect is still a widespread problem in the United States. If you or a loved one has suffered injury because of nursing home neglect, you deserve to receive compensation for your losses and suffering. To learn more about nursing home neglect and abuse, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced nursing home malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case to determine how best to protect your legal interests.

Related News Stories

November 17, 2008 - IL Widow Files Suit for Nursing Home Negligence 

July 2, 2008 -  $10M Settlement Reached in Nursing Home Case

April 26, 2007 - Nursing Home Guidelines Not Sufficiently Enforced, Report Finds 

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