Although not as bad as intentional abuse, nursing home neglect can have serious consequences. In many states, neglect is a form of abuse.
Neglect comes in a few forms, and you should learn to recognize it before it becomes serious.
Abandoning nursing home residents
Abandonment includes leaving residents with mobility problems alone in a room for hours. Complete abandonment happens when you leave residents alone in a facility or when they transfer from the facility to an inappropriate venue, such as a motel or homeless shelter, against their will.
Neglecting medical needs
This type of neglect can be not giving medications promptly or medication errors. It can also mean not calling a doctor when necessary or nurses and support staff not responding to call bells.
One form of medical neglect includes sedating patients so they do not have to deal with their behavior. If a resident appears lethargic, someone may be sedating them.
Neglecting basic needs
Basic needs include dental care, bathing and laundry. This happens when nursing and support staff do not meet the needs of residents that cannot perform these tasks themselves. If a nursing home does not care for the basic needs, residents may appear dirty or have soiled bedding or clothing.
Signs of neglect
Some of the signs of neglect are subtle. It could be an abnormal loss of the ability to move or the appearance of bedsores on their skin. Other signs are:
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Unexplainable tiredness
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lack of hygiene
- Mental deterioration and depression
All of these indicate some form of neglect or abuse.
Unfortunately, the most vulnerable residents, such as those with dementia, are most likely to be victims of neglect.