What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home facilities have proliferated in the past decade as baby boomers enter their senior years. There are over 16,000 nursing homes in the US with approximately 1.5 million residents. The number is expected to rise rapidly in the next decade as boomers turn 85, the age of over 50% of nursing home residents.
When elderly relatives enter a nursing home, we expect that their daily needs including feeding, dressing, bathing, medical care and recreational activities will be adequately provided. Unfortunately, nursing home are notorious for violations of state and federal standards with the result being the neglect of our loved ones who may suffer serious injuries, illnesses and death.
Abuse vs. Neglect
Nursing home abuse is not uncommon. This refers to intentional acts of cruelty, fraud, gross negligence or indifference such as ignoring obvious signs of injury or illness, purposely not giving medication or attending to wounds and refusing to provide for nutritional or hygienic needs. In some cases, abuse includes physical assaults, painful restraints and rape. Such actions can lead to criminal prosecution of the perpetrators.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide a certain level of care to residents. Nursing home neglect refers to the breach of this duty or the failure of a nursing home to provide adequate care that leads to foreseeable results or consequences such as illness, injury or death. Examples of nursing home neglect include:
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
You should check a nursing home’s credentials and record of violations before having a loved one admitted but this does not always ensure that your relative will be free from negligent practices. Some of the more common signs of nursing home neglect include the following:
If your loved one succumbed under suspicious circumstances, an autopsy might reveal suffocation or fatal injuries from a fall or from malnutrition or an infection that was never reported. Any of these signs may indicate that your loved one is being neglected. Should your relative become seriously ill or injured or succumbs and you suspect that they were not cared for, you can take steps to see if neglect was the cause.
Role of Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Andrew Ritholz
Consult with nursing home neglect attorney Andrew Ritholz regarding the injuries, serious illness or death of your loved one at a nursing home facility if you suspect abuse or neglect. Many nursing homes are understaffed and this can lead to stress, loss of compassion, fatigue and delay in administering care and other necessities. Understaffed facilities or ones with poorly trained staff or staff who were not cleared by criminal background checks often have violations regarding medication or prescription drug errors, excessive use of restraints, inattention to wounds and illness, and the failure to provide the level of care required by law.
Andrew Ritholz has been representing the rights of injured persons, including elderly residents in nursing home neglect cases, for over 30 years and has gained the trust and credibility from his clients that you need in these cases. Contact his office today for a free assessment of your case.