A Few Nursing Homes with a Bad Reputation Spoils Everything
While some nursing homes are excellent and perfect in their care of the elderly, a few are not so fantastic or perfect. Usually, family situations dictate that you cannot take care of an elderly loved one at home, and you have no choice but to admit that loved one to a nursing home where they can receive the care they need.
Family members, on the whole, do not relish a nursing home placement for their loved one for the simple reason that nursing homes have earned a bad name or reputation due to those few that offer less than perfect care. You entrust a nursing home to take excellent care of your loved one. You must be assured that your loved one’s well-being, health, and happiness are met by a devoted, caring, well-trained, and trusting staff of caregivers.
As excellent as many nursing homes are, accidents and injuries to residents still happen. Accident and incident reports must be filled out correctly and given to the Director of Nursing and Administrator immediately.
- Nursing homes must report incidents to their state within a stipulated time frame.
- Nurses must notify the doctor and family immediately of any incident. There must be clear, concise, and detailed documentation put into the resident’s record.
Nursing homes must abide by the state laws that govern them and remain under scrutiny every year with in-person state inspections for licensing and random immediate investigations when a family member complains about possible abuse of their loved one.
Nursing Home Abuse Means Hiring an Attorney to Protect Resident Rights
If your loved one in a nursing home complains about any abuse, it would be best if you, the responsible party for the injured, contact an attorney whose expertise is nursing home abuse. Sometimes an older adult may complain of abuse, and the incident is not what you thought. Other times, the complaint of abuse may indeed be abuse.
Abuse Examples in Nursing Homes
There are not too many reports of accidents, injuries, and death that do not occur due to negligence. Unfortunate accidents and injuries occur that are incidental. However, the staff still neglected to follow through correctly, and the patient was injured.
Too many family members carry a burden of guilt because they have no other choice than to put a loved one in a nursing home. Imagine the rocketing amount of responsibility that a family member must feel when that loved one is on the receiving end of abuse and becomes injured by a staff member.
The types of abuse are exhaustive and varied, taking many different forms. However, abuse is abuse from minor to severe levels when any staff member does not carefully and adequately care for and protect a nursing home resident from danger.
A few types of abuse reported in nursing homes
- Slip and Fall accidents
- Restraint injuries occur when misused and deliberate isolation.
- Physical abuse as seen in slapping, hitting, pinching, roughness, improper lifting
- Psychological and verbal abuse come under abusive words, name-calling, belittling, humiliation, yelling, threats, intimidation.
- Gross negligence
- Financial exploitation
- Sexual abuse
- Abuse from one resident to another
When family and friends visit a loved one, they need to be vigilant of their surroundings and staff. If a visitor notices any staff member being controlling or threatening, they need to report this as soon as possible when it happens.
Sudden behavior changes in a loved one require reporting. If a loved one becomes agitated, as seen in sucking, mumbling gibberish, or rocking, please notify the Director of Nursing of these abnormal actions.
If your loved one has dementia, it is more challenging to spot possible abuse. If a family member has a gut feeling that something is not right with their loved one, the rule of thumb is to report this.
Family members visiting their loved one should always question the Director of Nursing or Administrator if they notice unexplained and unreported injuries to their loved one such as burns, cuts, welts, sprains, bruises, bone dislocations, and fractures.
When a resident’s personal property is damaged, this could be a sign of abuse such as broken eyeglasses, restraint marks on the body, and if the staff does not want you to be alone with your loved one.
Another type of abuse is gross neglect, which also comes under many different issues, such as, but not limited to,
- Not providing adequate food comes under different categories, such as inadequate amounts of food, foods that the resident cannot or should not eat, poor quality food, insufficient liquids causing dehydration, failure to help the residents eat when they cannot feed themselves, or inappropriately feeding the residents.
- The home does not keep the residents safe at all times.
- Not keeping the residents clean at all times includes properly cleansing the hair, skin, nails, clothing.
- The home does not administer proper medical care.
- The home does not assure the appropriate medication, dosage, or time.
Medication abuse means,
- Wrong medications
- Right medications wrong time
- Proper medications, wrong dose
- Withholding medication accidentally or on purpose
- The staff is stealing drugs, primarily controlled substances are the worst.
- Neglecting to control pain and discomfort
State inspectors see gross neglect as dehydration, significant and unexpected weight loss, soiled clothing, dirty bedding, bugs, unsanitary conditions in the nursing facility.
Inspectors look for inadequate bathing, feces, urine odor, insufficient clothing that accommodates the outside and inside temperatures, bedsores, physical issues going untreated, and not getting pain medication when requested and ordered.
Never Allow Possible Nursing Home Abuse to Go Unchecked
If you have a loved one residing in a nursing home and you suspect any of these forms of abuse, Attorney Steven H. Heisler, a licensed, seasoned, and experienced wrongful accident/injury/death attorney wants you to call him immediately. We want to hear your story and any facts you have about possible nursing home abuse. We work hard for you and your loved ones and advocate for your victim’s rights.