Having a loved one living in a nursing home isn’t easy, especially when you have to leave them in the care of someone you don’t know. Although nursing homes contribute significantly to the care of older adults, not all experiences are positive. If you are worried about possible negligence or substandard care in a nursing home, don’t hesitate to report it. Here’s how:

Identify the Different Forms of Neglect

Nursing home neglect isn’t something easily defined, as it can come in many shapes or forms. Different people have different sets of needs and it’s the caregiver’s responsibility to meet them all. In short, neglect is the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs. 

It is important to note that nursing home neglect isn’t always motivated by a desire to harm a resident. Instead, it usually stems from inadequate staffing due to understaffing and insufficient training. If you notice that a nursing home’s employees seem stressed or overwhelmed, you must pay attention to the possible signs of neglect and report them immediately. Elderly woman alone in wheelchair

Types of Nursing Home Neglect:

  • Medical neglect – This occurs when a staff member or caregiver does not meet the resident’s medical needs. It can include but is not limited to: failing to administer medication, unfit care for pre-existing conditions, lack of regular movement of residents with mobility issues, and failure to report signs of infection or diseases to medical professionals. 
  • Social or emotional neglect – Regular, healthy interactions with other residents and staff members is key to maintaining an older adult’s mental health. If a resident is ignored, left alone for extended periods of time or prevented from interacting with others, this can severely impact their mental health. 
  • Neglect of basic living needsBasic living necessities are neglected because the nursing home or its personnel have failed to maintain a clean, safe environment and facilities. If your loved one does not receive adequate food or water or does not live in a clean environment, this is considered neglect.
  • Personal hygiene neglect – When a person’s hygiene is neglected, it can impact their general health and appearance. Failure to change clothes regularly, failure to assist with tasks such as brushing teeth and bathing, and not changing the bedding are all forms of personal hygiene neglect. 

Common symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect: 

Elderly woman in wheelchair looking out windows

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you are likely to witness a case of nursing home neglect:

  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers 
  • Bruises
  • Changes in personal hygiene or appearance
  • A lack of interaction with the nursing home staff members 
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • New or untreated medical conditions
  • Malnutrition
  • Significant personality or behavior changes
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Other unexplained injuries

Reporting the Issue

Once you have identified neglect or have a reason to doubt if residents of a particular nursing home are receiving adequate care, the next step is reporting the issue. There are different ways to go about this. If there is a member of staff you trust at the nursing home, you can speak to them first. Alternatively, you can report the matter to an elder care agency or law firm.

Nursing home neglect is a crime that can have a severe negative impact on the resident who is suffering from it. No one should receive inadequate care, and if you believe this is happening, you are likely eligible to pursue legal action against the nursing home or staff member. 

We offer our services and are here to accompany you through this challenging process with empathy and many years of experience in nursing home neglect. If you believe you are witnessing a case of Nursing Home Neglect, do not hesitate to call Gioffre & Schroeder Co., L.P.A. immediately!