The residents of nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable adults. When your loved one moved into a nursing home, you likely sighed a huge sigh of relief, knowing that they would be receiving the care and attention necessary to continue living life to the fullest possible. Discovering that your aging relative is the victim of nursing home neglect is a serious blow that can leave you feeling helpless and unsure of where to turn for guidance. If this is the situation you find yourself in, consult with an experienced South Carolina nursing home neglect and abuse attorney today.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect lacks the intention of nursing home abuse, but this fact can make it more difficult to identify and rectify. Nursing home neglect refers to nursing home facilities and their staff who neglect to provide residents with the care they require to live healthy lives. When a nursing home resident enters the nursing home, the facility implements an individualized care plan that addresses the client’s unique needs. Nursing home negligence can relate to failing to fulfill this care plan on a consistent basis. Still, it can also relate to overall negligence that generally lets all the residents in the nursing home down.
Some of the Common Causes of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is often the result of inadequate staffing and inadequate training and hiring practices (which tend to work in tandem).
When the nursing home facility fails to hire adequate staff or pays or treats their staff so poorly that the facility experiences a debilitating high turnover rate, it can ultimately lead to nursing home neglect. A nursing home staff that is spread too thin simply can’t keep up with the serious level of need that is common to nursing homes, making accidents more likely. The stress associated with trying to keep up with the job’s demands can take a serious toll on the staff and, subsequently, on the nursing home residents.
Inadequate Training and Hiring Practices
With high turnover rates, inadequate staff training can also be an issue. A final issue is that nursing home staff who are not properly vetted or who are hired without running a background check at all can make nursing home neglect more likely. Those who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, for example, have their own demons that leave them more prone to neglecting others.
Common Forms of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect can take many dangerous forms.
Medical neglect refers to when the nursing home fails to provide a nursing home resident with their healthcare needs (as defined by their care plan), including:
- Failing to administer the appropriate medications or administering the wrong medications
- Providing inadequate or improper medical care for diagnosed health matters, including diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, and more
- Failing to help those residents who regularly need help moving in order to avoid issues such as bedsores
- Failing to report health concerns, such as infection, pain, or signs of illness, to a member of the medical staff
Social and Other Forms of Emotional Neglect
People of all ages need and crave social interaction, and the global pandemic has highlighted this fact quite succinctly. When nursing homes fail to provide opportunities for residents to interact socially or help bring them together (for those with mobility issues), it can lead to painful emotional consequences that can be difficult to detect until they become quite serious.
Many nursing home residents have highly specific nutritional needs, but they all need healthy, adequate nutrition and hydration. Any form of neglect in this arena can be serious. As we age, it is far easier and far more dangerous to become dehydrated. And inadequate nutrition can leave physically vulnerable seniors even more so.
Neglect Related to the Tasks of Daily Living
Many, if not most, residents need some help with the tasks of daily living, and when they fail to receive adequate help, the effects can slowly aggregate into something serious. For example, if your loved one misses a shower or two, it isn’t likely to cause any serious damage. However, if it becomes a consistent problem, they could suffer negative consequences (such as a diminished quality of life) that can be difficult to detect early on.
Unsafe Living Quarters
Seniors are more prone to slipping, tripping, and falling, and when they do, they are far more likely to suffer serious injuries, such as fractures and breaks. When the nursing home fails to maintain the facility with as few tripping and slipping hazards as possible and fails to pay adequate attention to potential issues, dangerous accidents can be the result. Further, when the residents’ personal living quarters are not set up to accommodate their personal needs, it can contribute to or cause dangerous accidents.
Common Signs to Look Out For
Nursing home neglect can be difficult to spot, but you shouldn’t ignore it if you have a funny feeling about something. Better to be overly concerned than to ignore a problem that is hiding in plain sight. If your loved one seems off or different for no discernable reason, it could be indicative of neglect. Some of the physical warning signs to keep an eye out for include:
- The beginnings of bedsores
- Bruises, cuts, abrasions, or any other unexplained injuries
- Any indication of dehydration or malnutrition
- Newly acquired insomnia
- A newly acquired medical condition
If your loved one has dementia, it can make detecting nursing home neglect that much more difficult. One important point to keep in mind is that if your aging relative tells you there is a problem, believe them and do a bit of investigating on your own.
Consult With an Experienced South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney Today
The dedicated nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina are committed to zealously advocating for your loved one’s rights in pursuit of their rightful compensation. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.