Figures from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate about 1.7 million beds in licensed nursing home facilities across the country, with many of those facilities at capacity. These facilities are entrusted with the care of aged loved ones, and all too often, failures within them allow nursing home neglect to occur. In fact, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) estimates as many as 1 in 3 facilities have incidences of neglect or abuse in some capacity.
How Nursing Home Neglect Happens
When parents, grandparents and other family members are no longer able to care for themselves safely and everyone in the family works full time, elder care can become a likewise full-time concern. When you do find a facility with a bed available, which can be a challenge of its own, you need to be able to trust the person you love is getting compassionate, quality care.
Often, these facilities are chronically understaffed. Sometimes security measures fail and the wrong people are hired, often as a result of the aforementioned chronic understaffing.
Accidents due to negligence and even malicious abuse do occur, and when they do, it isn’t always easy to know where to turn. While both federal and Florida state law regulate standards of care for nursing homes, laws are sometimes broken.
When someone in your family network is living in a nursing home, neglect and abuse are persistent worries. Still, it’s not always easy to know how to spot the signs of potential trouble, or even what to do with the information if you determine something is amiss. Signs of trouble can include, but are not limited to:
- Dehydration and malnutrition – When there aren’t enough care providers on staff to adequately meet the needs of all residents under their charge, food and drinks aren’t always doled out on schedule. There can be medical explanations for these conditions, but if they happen, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at the situation.
- Hygiene and cleanliness issues – Incontinence can create unpleasant odors from time to time, but a noticeable lack of attention to a resident’s hygiene can be a strong indicator they simply aren’t getting enough attention. Similarly, lack of access to clean clothing and bedding can be telltale signs your loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect.
- Rapid loss of mobility – Age and its related issues can cause a steep decline in mobility, but part of why your loved one is receiving long-term care is to help keep them remain as active and safe as possible. Increasing frequency of falls, for instance, can indicate not only a systemic lack of exercise and focus on mobility but also a lack of supervision.
What to Do When Your Family Experiences Nursing Home Neglect
There’s a special kind of misery and heartbreak that come with learning someone you love has been subjected to neglect or bad treatment. You and your loved one deserve to be heard, and to be treated with dignity by legal experts who know how to take on corporations that protect a culture of nursing home neglect.
Call or contact Ligori & Ligori today to learn more about the process of establishing nursing home neglect, and what you can do to help protect your family from its devastating effects.
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