What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Apr. 10th, 2014   /   , , ,

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Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable members of our society; when they move into a nursing home, they and their families expect them to be treated with the utmost care and respect. When these largely helpless individuals are mistreated, they and their families have the right to take legal action against the person or people responsible.

At the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green, our personal injury attorneys often represent elderly individuals and their families, when said seniors have been the victims of what is known as nursing home neglect. Below, we’ve outlined responses to some questions that are frequently asked regarding nursing home neglect.

What is nursing home neglect?

Essentially, a case of nursing home neglect is characterized by the failure, on behalf of the professional staff, management, etc., to provide adequate services necessary for maintaining the health and well being of patients in a nursing home. The wrongdoing could be intentional or merely the result of carelessness, but in either case, the negligent party can be held liable for the damages resulting from their misconduct. (The degree to which the neglect was intentional, however, can determine whether or not the actions can be considered forms of abuse, and that can influence both the amount of compensation that can be sought and/or the extent to which criminal charges can be brought against the negligent party.)

What are some signs of nursing home neglect?

There are numerous signs of nursing home neglect, not all of which necessarily indicate that neglect is taking place, but most of which are good reasons to ask questions and investigate more closely. If you have a loved one that resides in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs such as bedsores, malnutrition, bruises/unexplained injuries, unsanitary conditions, residents being overly medicated, genital sores/infections, and any other related abnormality. Unexpected death can also be the result of nursing home neglect. Lastly, you should feel comfortable being able to see your loved one on a regular basis; if you feel that nursing home staff is stalling the visit or refusing you access to your loved one in the nursing home, contact a supervisor and/or our personal injury firm, as the staff may be trying to keep you from realizing an instance of nursing home neglect.

Why does nursing home neglect take place?

By and large, nursing home neglect is the result of under-qualified, under-trained and inexperienced staff, whose responsibility it is to care for the patients at the nursing home. While the neglect may not be a product of a desire to inflict pain on unsuspecting and defenseless senior citizens, the neglect manifests itself in a profound way regardless. Staff members who are not properly trained in the protocols of nursing home operations should not be given the responsibility of caring for the elderly; putting them in a position in which they act negligently and cause injury to the patients exposes the nursing home to lawsuits, for they are liable when neglect and/or abuse takes place in the nursing home. Furthermore, the victims of the nursing home neglect often times realize that they are being wronged, but are too ashamed or afraid to come forward and tell anybody about it; that is why it is absolutely critical that family members of the nursing home patients consistently remain on the lookout for the aforementioned signs of neglect.

If a loved one of yours has sustained injuries while a patient in a nursing home, please contact one of our experienced nursing home attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green. For a free consultation, please call us at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com

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