When we mention nursing home abuse, most people immediately think about patients being subjected to physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. However, actual “abuse” is not the only harm some nursing home residents suffer. Neglect can be just as harmful as abuse.
Neglect can be intentional in nursing homes. Nursing home workers understand they need to perform certain tasks for patients such as bathing them, ensuring they eat, rolling them over in bed or sitting them up, changing their clothes, and checking on them several times each day. However, the workers choose not to perform these tasks. It is not that they don’t have time to do them or they don’t know how to take care of the residents, they simply choose not to do their job.
Intentional neglect is extremely harmful to the patient’s physical and mental health. Unfortunately, unintentional neglect due to understaffing is just as harmful to nursing home patients.
Understaffed Nursing Homes
Private nursing homes may purposefully choose to understaff facilities to increase profits while state facilities may not have the resources to hire additional staff members. Regardless of the reason for the understaffing, when there are not enough workers to take care of the patients, the patients suffer. In addition to not having enough people to take care of the patient’s physical needs, understaffed nursing homes also have a higher incident of medical mistakes.
When staff members are in a hurry because they are required to take care of too many patients, errors with medication are more likely. In addition, staff members are not as focused on each patient. Therefore, signs and symptoms of serious illnesses or injuries may be missed. The delay in medical care can result in serious illness and fatalities. It is simply impossible for one nurse and one nurse’s aide to care for a dozen or so patients.
What Can I Do?
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, act to protect your loved one from nursing home neglect. Ask the owner of the nursing home how many staff members are on duty during each shift. Visit your loved one often and note how many times a staff member comes into the room to check on your loved one or perform necessary tasks to care for your loved one properly. This is the best way to determine if your loved one is receiving the attention he or she needs from staff members.
If you do not see staff members moving about when you visit your loved ones, this is a bad sign. Staff members should be visible moving in and out of patients’ rooms to check on residents, dispense medications, assist with bathing, and provide other support and care.
If you believe your loved one is being neglected, you have several options. You can speak with the management to express your concern and request something be done to remedy the problem. You can report the neglect to state officials. In addition, you can contact a nursing home abuse attorney to pursue a claim for neglect.
Call A Louisville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected, call our office. You can discuss your suspicions with a Louisville nursing home abuse attorney. Don’t wait to contact an attorney. You have a limited time to file a claim for abuse and neglect.
Contact the Shelton Law Group by telephone at 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. We offer free, no-obligation consultations so you can get answers to your questions about nursing home abuse and neglect.