According to The National Center for Elder Abuse, neglect of basic needs is the number one type of elder abuse. Considering that elders enter into nursing homes because they can no longer properly care for themselves independently, they are particularly vulnerable to nursing home negligence caused by indifference, understaffing, and undertrained staff. Any violations of duty that result in physical and mental damages to the victim constitute nursing home negligence.
Nursing home abuse and negligence can include failure to provide adequate nutrition, hydration, and medical treatment, as well as failure to prevent the occurrence of falls and other injuries that could have been avoided with proper care and staffing.
Bedsores, gangrene, malnutrition, dehydration, and wandering away from a nursing home are more obvious signs of nursing home negligence. Less obvious signs to watch for include weight fluctuations, stolen or missing possessions, sudden changes in demeanor, and poor personal grooming and hygiene.
Nursing home patients are sometimes unable to fully communicate with family and friends, and as a result, nursing home neglect is often under-reported. Be an observant and proactive advocate. Thoroughly investigate anything a nursing home patient reports, as well as anything that appears suspicious.
Your diligence may spare your loved one much pain and suffering by identifying abuse and neglect early and removing them from the nursing home. Neglect can result in catastrophic consequences—including death—so it’s important to contact a nursing home abuse attorney with your suspicions without delay.