Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Elderly and impaired individuals who can no longer take care for themselves independently are often placed into the care of trusted professionals at skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, neglect by these professionals often results in illness, harm, and emotional or physical trauma for their patients.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are several types of neglect that can happen in a nursing home or assisted living facility, such as:
- Lack of care for physical or mental illness
- Unreasonable restraint
- Seclusion from social activities or interaction
- Failure to regularly check and tend to incontinence
- Sleep deprivation
- Failure to administer scheduled medication
- Lack of medical attention for sores or infections
- Poor communication between nursing staff and families
Signs of Neglect
Family members and loved ones of nursing home residents need to keep a close eye and a visual presence when caring for their elderly parents and relatives in nursing homes. The following signs of neglect should be reported immediately and monitored closely to ensure residents are protected.
- Bed sores
- Agitation and depression
- Anxiety and fear
- Unexplained bruises and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Weight loss and weight gain
- Unsanitary conditions of resident or facility
- Heavily medicated or withdrawn patients
- Undocumented falls or illness
- Frequent emergency room visits
- Reluctance of patient to speak in the presence of staff or caregivers
- Unexplained death
Any time one or more of these signs of neglect is present, it is imperative to report them to the nursing home administrators and medical teams. Taking pictures and videos of residents can help substantiate these claims. No sign of neglect should be taken lightly. Many times, incidents that family members observe when they are present at the facility are just the tip of the iceberg for what happens on a regular basis.
What to Do if Neglect is Suspected
Any sign of neglect or abuse of a nursing home or assisted living resident needs to be immediately reported to the facility’s administration, medical team, and caregivers. There is no such thing as making too much noise. Nursing home residents are vulnerable and often unable to speak for themselves.
Once the information is reported, the facility administrators must conduct a full investigation involving all nurses, caregivers, doctors, and staff. If the resident were taken to an emergency room, the investigation must include a written report and follow up with the emergency room doctors.
If an investigation is not completed in a reasonable amount of time, or to the satisfaction of the resident, their family, or their relatives, it is time to contact state and federal officials. Concerned family and friends can contact the Elder Locator hotline or refer to state agencies listed on the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA) or the Administration of Aging (AoA) for elder advocates that can follow up on the investigations of neglect.
Concerned family members can also contact the resident’s primary care physician, social worker, elder care lawyer, or specialist to intervene on their behalf. Consultation with an experienced elder law attorney is highly recommended to ensure the legal rights of nursing home residents are protected.
Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Advocate for Residents of Nursing Homes
If you suspect nursing home neglect, call the Brooklyn elder law lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP at 212-495-8133, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Brooklyn, New York and Lakewood, New Jersey and serve clients throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.