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What can you do if you suspect nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse |

Trusting a nursing home to care for family members is difficult, especially when those individuals are vulnerable. However, many people who are unable to care for loved ones do not have a choice.

Suspecting neglect in an Indiana nursing home can be distressing, but awareness is the first step toward ensuring the well-being of defenseless residents.

Forms of neglect

Nursing home neglect can manifest in various forms, affecting residents physically and emotionally. Physical neglect includes insufficient assistance with daily activities. Common signs of neglect include bedsores, falls, unexplained injuries, poor hygiene, malnutrition and inadequate medical care.

Emotional neglect, on the other hand, may result from isolation or lack of social interaction, impacting the mental well-being of residents. Signs may include withdrawal, depression, anxiety and a lack of engagement.

Consequences for patients

The consequences of neglect can be severe for nursing home residents. Untreated medical conditions, infections and dehydration may arise, worsening health issues. Emotional neglect can contribute to depression and anxiety, diminishing the overall quality of life for those in care.

Common causes of nursing home neglect

Nursing home neglect often stems from:

Inadequate staffing levels

Insufficient training

Poor supervision

Budget constraints

Lack of resources

Improper facility management can increase neglect. None of these causes excuse neglecting patients.

Advocating for residents

Families and friends can play a crucial role in advocating for nursing home residents. Regular visits allow for the observation of living conditions and the well-being of loved ones. If you are close enough, make unscheduled and unannounced visits to the facility where your loved one lives. This may give you a better chance of detecting neglect.

Open communication with staff can address concerns promptly and ensure that residents receive the care they deserve.

Preventing neglect

To prevent neglect, families should stay informed about the care plans for their loved ones and actively participate in the care process. Inquiring about staffing levels, training programs and resident activities can contribute to a safer and more supportive nursing home environment.

Reporting your concerns

If you suspect nursing home neglect, take immediate action by reporting your concerns to the appropriate authorities. Some forms of nursing home neglect may give you grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Providing detailed information and evidence about observed neglect can aid in addressing the issue promptly.