Nursing homes and their staff have an obligation to provide proper care for elderly residents entrusted to their facility. Nursing homes that accept Medicare are also subject to certain federal regulations. They must ensure that the environment remains as free from hazards as possible, and that residents receive the supervision and assistance devices they need to prevent accidents. Nursing homes can be held liable for injuries when their neglect or abuse that occurs on the premises causes harm to a resident.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence can occur in many ways. Examples include:
- Negligent supervision of elderly residents who fall or otherwise hurt themselves
- Negligent hiring, training, or supervision of employees who neglect or abuse residents
- Failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, free from hazards
- Failure to maintain clean and sanitary conditions in residents’ rooms and common areas
- Failure to provide adequate medical treatment
How Negligence Can Affect Nursing Home Residents
When nursing homes neglect their responsibilities, it can be devastating for elderly residents who are relying on the facility to provide for their needs, including the following:
- Personal hygiene and grooming: Many residents are in a nursing home because they are no longer able to care for themselves properly. It can significantly affect a resident’s quality of life when the nursing home fails to provide the necessary assistance with bathing, brushing teeth, or laundering clothes.
- Medical care: When nursing homes neglect their duty, residents may not receive the medications they need. They may be given the wrong medications or subjected to chemical restraints. Negligent nursing homes may fail to prevent or treat bedsores, care for diabetes or dementia, or provide for mobility issues.
- Social needs: Facility staff may ignore older people and prevent them from interacting with other residents. This treatment may be combined with emotional or psychological abuse, such as yelling or name-calling.
- Basic needs: Nursing home negligence may extend to a failure to provide for a resident’s basic needs, such as food, water, and clean sanitary living conditions. This type of neglect can cause an elderly resident becoming malnourished, dehydrated, or ill.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence?
When frail, older people with dementia become victims of nursing home negligence, they may not be able to communicate adequately about the problem. To safeguard your loved one in a nursing home, it is important to be alert for indications of neglect. The following signs and symptoms may serve as a red flag for nursing home negligence:
- Weight loss: If your loved one is losing weight, it may be from lack of food. Other possible reasons for weight loss include lack of socialization, illness, and depression.
- Dehydration: The nursing home may not be providing enough water and liquids if an older person appears dehydrated.
- Malnutrition: This is a common problem in nursing homes. Malnutrition not only leads to weight loss but also increases the risk of pressure sores and infections.
- Lack of grooming: If your loved one has not been bathed, is wearing dirty clothing, or is not receiving grooming, it may be a sign of nursing home negligence.
- Bedsores: When nursing home staff turn bedridden or immobile residents properly and regularly, bedsores can be prevented. If your loved one has developed a pressure sore, it is likely a sign of neglect.
- Environmental hazards: In a nursing home, environmental hazards may include lack of handrails, poor lighting, wet floors, or poorly maintained wheelchairs. A facility with multiple environmental hazards may be negligent.
Get a NYC Nursing Home Negligence Attorney By Your Side
If your elderly loved one has suffered harm caused by nursing home negligence, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. You may have a valid claim for compensation against the facility. Contact Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP at 212-203-4795 to get a reputable New York nursing home negligence attorney in your corner for your loved one today.