Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Negligence & Violation of Residents’ Rights

June 9, 2021 General

Nursing home neglect is a tragic but not uncommon issue in the United States. It happens when seniors do not get the proper care and suffer physical or mental health problems as a result. The problem can occur anywhere and can take many shapes.

What makes this particularly disturbing is that it can be overlooked or ignored for so long. If you have concerns about the care your elderly loved ones receive, take a look at this post:

FAQ 1: What are the main types of nursing home neglect?

Medical neglect

It is the legal duty of nursing home staff to safeguard the health and wellness of the residents. Medical neglect may include:

  • Failing to provide the proper medications at the right time
  • Ignoring complaints of pain, illness, abuse, or another mistreatment
  • Insufficient care to prevent bedsores
  • Failing to obtain informed consent before a medical test
  • Refusal to order or perform tests to diagnose a resident’s symptoms

Social/Emotional neglect

It occurs when the caregiver causes a senior to suffer emotional pain or stress. If can happen if staff members:

  • Forget to move residents with severe mobility/mental issues
  • Isolate the resident from his family and friends
  • Scapegoating and blaming the resident regularly
  • Humiliating or ridiculing
  • Intimidating by yelling or threatening
  • Ignoring the elderly

Physical neglect 

Physical neglect is not providing care for basic needs. Here are the different types of physical neglect:

  • Wearing the same clothing for several days
  • Not being washed for days
  • Dirty and untidy environment
  • Bruising or other visible unexplained injuries
  • Providing seniors unsafe food or water

FAQ 2: How can I prevent nursing home neglect? 

Nursing home neglect is a serious issue, but it may be prevented if you take the right actions. Here’s what you can do:

  • Communicate

Staying engaged with your loved one allows you to catch the neglect before it causes serious harm. Routine visits or even setting up video chats can have a positive effect on a  nursing home resident. It is also a good idea to carry out surprise visits to make sure the caregiver is not stealing from, neglecting, or abusing your loved one.  

  • Get to know the primary caregivers

Meet the caregivers and know more about them. It will help you spot potential discrepancies and inconsistencies.

  • Pay attention to any changes in a loved one’s mood

While visiting a nursing home, stay attentive to check up on how your loved one’s social life is going. You can also ask if there are any changes on medications and how they like the nursing facility. The signs for poor care, such as inadequate hygiene and malnutrition, are easier to spot.

FAQ 3: How do I pursue a claim for nursing home negligence or a violation of residents’ rights?

It is important to first consult with a lawyer that focuses his or her practice on nursing home negligence and violation of residents’ rights.  The facility chart should be requested and reviewed by the lawyer and/or an expert to identify whether negligence or violations were committed and the extent to which that caused resident harm.  Then, before filing a lawsuit, a claimant must follow the 75-day pre-suit process under Chapter 400 of the Florida Statutes.  If the claim is not resolved within that 75-day pre-suit period, then a lawsuit may be filed, assuming there is not a valid, binding arbitration provision.  

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