Home Neglect and Abuse—An Overview

When you have to make the difficult decision to put a loved one into a nursing home, you want to know
that they will be well-cared-for in their final years. Unfortunately, most nursing homes today are run by hedge funds, with the focus on profit over quality of care. As a result, nursing homes are
chronically understaffed, and the people they do hire are under-qualified and are motivated by little more than a paycheck. The consequence—your family member suffers.

The Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Claims

Residents in nursing homes need regular care and monitoring to minimize the risk of serious injury. Some of the more frequent injuries that arise in nursing homes include:

  • Falls—Many nursing home residents have challenges with balance, strength and stamina, and may lack the capacity to move about on their own.Nonetheless, without proper restraint or monitoring, they may try to do so, leading to risk of serious injury in a fall. Furthermore, many bedridden patients may fall out of bed, if not properly secured or protected with bed rails.
  • Bedsores—Bedsores, known as decubitis ulcers, are almost entirely preventable. The most common cause of bedsores among nursing home patients is the failure to reposition or move bedridden residents on a regular basis. This may stem from understaffing, lack of training or lack of proper procedures.
  • Dehydration and malnutrition—Without proper monitoring, nursing home patients may forget to eat or take in the liquids they need.
  • Medication errors—Most nursing home residents have a specific regimen of drugs they need every day. Often, mistakes can be made in dosage or timing of medications, or residents may be given the wrong drug.
  • Physical or mental abuse—Nursing home residents are often subjected to slaps, hitting or other physical abuse by untrained, unqualified or vindictive employees. They can also be berated, called names or made fun of by caregivers.
  • Physical or hygienic neglect—Caregivers frequently fail to help residents stay clean and healthy.

When you are looking to hire an attorney to handle a nursing home neglect and abuse claim, the most important thing to look for is recent experience handling this type of claim. Nursing home negligence claims involve complex state and federal regulations, including Medicaid and Medicare provisions. It’s not enough to have a good personal injury attorney. Your lawyer needs to understand the process and the laws governing nursing home neglect and abuse.

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