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Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse


While it’s difficult to imagine, elder abuse occurs all the time, with up to one-third of nursing home residents experiencing problems at one time or another. It’s a serious problem that deserves immediate attention.

Problems in Nursing Homes 

Nursing homes across the country have been found to be negligent or abusive on a number of counts, and many of the deficiencies could lead to resident decline or even death:

1-    Failing to separate COVID positive patients from COVID negative ones;

2-    Failing to provide staff with appropriate PPE;

3-    Failing to develop a comprehensive plan of care for patents;

4-    Failing to review and assess a care plan at least quarterly;

5-    Failing to assess a patient’s pain level before administering pain medications;

6-    Failing to complete a discharge assessment prior to discharging a patient;

7-    Failing to provide prescribed medications;

8-    Giving the wrong prescriptions to a patient;

9-    Leaving a patient in bed without moving them for long periods of time;

10- Unsanitary conditions;

11- Disrespecting the wishes of the patient and/or patient’s family;

12- General neglect;

13- Improperly restraining patients;

14- Outright physical abuse;

15- Staffing shortages that lead to neglect.

Types of Neglect/Abuse

 Abuse and neglect can take many forms, and can have devastating effects on helpless loved ones.  It is difficult to imagine such cruelty being directed at a human being that you care so deeply about, but these things do happen:

  • Mental or emotional abuse, including yelling at or threatening patients;
  • Physical abuse, such as slapping, shaking, pushing, and pinching;
  • Failing to care for legitimate health issues;
  • Depriving one of water and/or food;
  • Seclusion restraint that is unwarranted and unreasonable;
  • Unauthorized use of psychotropic medications;
  • Sexual abuse and rape. 

Signs Your Loved One May Need You to Intervene 

If your loved one is in a care facility, you may not see them daily, or even weekly.  Certainly, anything that alarms you should be thoroughly investigated.  While it may turn out to have a perfectly reasonable explanation, when a number of issues plague your loved one’s nursing home stay over time, perhaps there really is something wrong. What should you be looking out for on your visits?  Some signs there may be problems include:

  • Severe weight loss;
  • Dehydration;
  • Bed sores;
  • Poor hygiene;
  • Emotional agitation;
  • Lack of basic supplies, like toothpaste, tissues, etc.;
  • Depression;
  • Falls;
  • Unusual changes in behavior (like rocking, fear, etc.)
  • Unexplained injuries;
  • Heavy sedation;
  • Fearfulness toward caregivers;
  • Frequent unreported illnesses.

When Abuse Is Suspected 

If you have real fears about neglect or abuse, you must act; the welfare, and very life of your loved one could be at risk. The first thing you should do is contact the authorities, whether that be police, protective services for adults, or a social worker. Next, contact the compassionate, experienced Kissimmee personal injury attorneys at the Salazar & Kelly Law Group.  We will conduct our own investigation of the facts, and fight for justice on behalf of your loved one.  It could result in financial remuneration, as well as improvements in the facility. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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