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Nursing home neglect can manifest in various different ways depending on the individual situation and the patient. You may notice changes in your loved one’s personality as a key sign that he or she is suffering from neglect.
While nursing home neglect is similar to nursing home abuse in many ways, these are not the same situations. Abuse implies specific intent to carry out harm against the elder, however, any breach of duty or type of substandard care that leads to patient harm could be categorized as neglect.
In order to illustrate that a nursing home facility is guilty of neglect, you must be able to show that the breach of duty or the substandard care provided to the patient led to the reasonably foreseeable outcome of negligent actions of a nursing home.
Kinds of Nursing Home Neglect
The four major types of nursing home neglect include:
- Basic needs neglect such as failing to provide a safe and clean environment, food or water.
- Personal hygiene neglect by not giving the resident appropriate assistance with bathing, cleaning, laundry and brushing their teeth.
- Social or emotional neglect; meaning that the resident is often left isolated or unable to interact with friends.
- Medical neglect, including the facility’s failure to provide appropriate prevention, attention or medication for concerns.
Signs to Be Aware Of
When you are aware of the very signs of neglect, you can respond appropriately when you believe your loved one is suffering. Warning signs may be physical or emotional in nature. An elderly patient that does not regularly interact with family members may be more difficult in terms of identifying instances of social or emotional neglect. Some of the most common signs of neglect include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Injuries from nursing home falls
- Unexplained injuries
- Changes in appearance or personal hygiene efforts
- A growing use of inappropriate or non-friendly interaction with nursing home staff
- Withdrawn behavior
- Environmental hazards
Neglect may be indicative of staff who do not care about the residents or staff who do not have appropriate support within a facility.
Regardless of the reasons why nursing home neglect is manifesting, it is illegal to neglect or abuse an elderly person.
If you believe that a loved one is being neglected by nursing home staff or is being abused by another resident or the staff at the facility, you need to raise concerns with the facility directly and do everything possible to remove your loved one from harm’s way.
The sooner you take action and report your concerns to the staff, the better equipped you will be to proceed if you need to file a lawsuit or take other action against the responsible nursing home.
Consult with the experienced nursing home neglect lawyers at McDonald Worley as soon as possible if you suspect your loved one is suffering from neglect. Complete the form on this page to learn more.