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Nursing Home Neglect

When you leave your elderly parent or loved one in a nursing home you trust that he or she will receive proper care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Nursing home neglect is a problem that is all too common in Mooresville and other cities in North Carolina. An elderly resident may be injured due to neglectful care in a nursing home. Mistreatment can cause injuries such as bruises, broken bones, bedsores, choking, and medication overdoses, among others. Nursing home neglect is not always easy to spot. If your loved one was harmed, it is best to discuss the matter with an experienced Mooresville nursing home neglect attorney.

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect is mistreatment or the failure to provide adequate treatment by caregivers. Most nursing home neglect falls into one of the major categories of medical neglect, basic needs neglect, personal hygiene neglect, and emotional or social neglect.

Medical neglect occurs when the nursing home staff fails to provide medical attention when needed or does not give medications according to prescription instructions. Basic needs may include such things as not providing a safe environment and failing to provide adequate meals or liquids. Many senior citizens require assistance with their daily hygiene tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, and brushing their teeth and hair. If caregivers do not provide help with these tasks, it might be considered neglect.

Emotional or social neglect can happen easily with nursing home residents, especially if they have reduced mobility. Caregivers may fail to interact with residents and may even be hostile toward them. Residents may be kept from interacting with other residents of the facility.

Nursing homes have a duty to provide proper care to residents. If they fail to do so and an injury results, they may be considered negligent. The nursing home and sometimes the caregiver may be held responsible for damages that result from neglect.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

There are many different signs of nursing home neglect. If you notice any of these, you might be concerned and should investigate further.

  • Change in demeanor or temperament
  • Decrease in weight
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Dehydration or malnutrition

It is important to keep in mind that nursing home residents may not feel comfortable telling anyone about their neglectful situation. As a result, many of these types of incidents go unreported.

Why is Nursing Home Neglect so Prevalent?

Thousands of nursing home residents are victims of nursing home neglect or abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, almost one out of every five nursing home residents have been the victim of abuse or neglect based on reports. That number may actually be closer to 50%.

Nursing homes are often overcrowded and understaffed. In addition, they may have a high turnover among caregivers. There is also sometimes poor management and lack of training and enforcement of rules for employees. These factors can combine to make a serious and dangerous environment for some nursing home residents.

Some elderly residents are at a higher risk for nursing home neglect or abuse. These individuals are those with dementia or Alzheimer’s and those who are bedridden or have physical limitations. It might be easier to neglect a resident when they are unable to report a problem. Your loved one may feel embarrassed about the situation or may feel that treatment will worsen if they file a report. For these reasons, it is essential that you look for signs of neglect and take action if you suspect that neglect has occurred.

What to do if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect

If you suspect that your loved one was injured due to nursing home neglect there are some steps you should take. First, report the incident to the manager and consider finding a different facility for your loved one. It is often best to remove your loved one from the potentially harmful situation as soon as possible.

Contact an experienced Mooresville nursing home neglect attorney. Our lawyers have handled many nursing home neglect and abuse cases, and we know what to do. We will help investigate the matter, gather documentation, and guide you through the process of filing a claim if necessary. You and your family may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages that were incurred because of neglect. Contact our highly skilled legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.