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What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

What Is Nursing Home Neglect? | Nursing Home Abuse | High Stakes Injury Law

If your loved one suffers an injury or illness at the nursing home, you may suspect nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect is a situation where the inaction of a caregiver leads to injury or illness for the nursing home resident. Had the caregiver taken the proper action, the injury likely would not have happened.

Neglect in the nursing home can involve a number of different occurrences, leading to physical injuries, mental anguish, and feelings of hopelessness. Any of these items can result in a reduction of the quality of life for the victim of the neglect, meaning the victim may be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering.

Common Types of Elder Neglect

A few different types of neglect may potentially occur in a nursing home.

Emotional Neglect

When caregivers at the nursing home leave a resident isolated in his or her room for long periods of the day, this can be a case of emotional neglect. Residents, even those who cannot move well on their own, should have the ability to interact with other residents and participate in activities at the facility, and they may need the help of caregivers to do this.

Another form of emotional neglect can involve a caregiver moving a resident into a location of the nursing home and then leaving the resident in place for hours at a time.

Emotional neglect can give residents a feeling of hopelessness, especially if they have to rely on caregivers for basic needs. The resident may feel as if he or she is forgotten, which can lead to depression.

Physical Neglect

Neglect that involves physical issues can occur in a variety of ways, including:

  • Failing to bathe the resident
  • Failing to change the resident’s clothing or bedsheets
  • Failing to help the resident with personal care
  • Failing to keep the resident’s room clean
  • Failing to provide fresh drinking water in a timely manner
  • Failing to remove plates after a meal in a timely manner
  • Failing to provide activities for the residents

When a caregiver ignores the personal health needs of residents of the nursing home, this can lead to the formation of illnesses. Additionally, seniors may be embarrassed by a lack of hygiene, causing depression.

Medical Neglect

Caregivers in the nursing home must attend to the medical needs of the residents in a timely manner. This can involve helping the resident set up and travel to doctor’s appointments. Neglect in a case like this would involve delaying a trip to the doctor or ignoring medical problems.

Additionally, caregivers should help to move those residents who have issues with mobility. Ignoring this task could cause the victim to end up with bedsores that can lead to significant infections.

Ignoring the medical needs of residents can lead to mental and emotional trauma too, as the resident worries about his or her future health.

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What Is the Difference Between Neglect and Abuse?

Both abuse and neglect in a nursing home setting can result in serious injuries or even death for the victim.

Neglect commonly refers to inaction on the part of a caregiver, resulting in physical or emotional harm. Abuse, on the other hand, typically refers to a situation where someone takes a specific action against the victim, causing the injury. These abusive actions can include:

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Pushing
  • Pinching
  • Striking with an object
  • Improperly restraining

Abuse typically involves a purposeful act on the part of the person causing the abuse. Neglect can occur unintentionally.

How Does Neglect Happen?

Sometimes, neglect happens because of understaffing at the facility, leaving the well-intended caregivers unable to respond to all of the needs of the residents. In a case like this, the facility should be held responsible for its inability to staff properly.

Additionally, the facility should take the time to perform detailed background checks on anyone it hires. A background check may show that a potential employee has a history of neglecting residents in previous jobs, meaning the facility should not have hired the person.

Finding Signs of Neglect in an Elderly Adult

If you believe your loved one is suffering from neglect, you have the right to seek compensation for their pain, suffering, and medical bills associated with this neglect. Victims in nursing home abuse cases have a one-year statute of limitations to start the process of filing a claim in Nevada, according to NRS §41A.097(2). Call us at (702) 707-5934 as soon as possible for a free consultation.

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