It’s never an easy decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. Family and loved ones expect their loved ones to receive the medical care and personal support they need to live well and comfortably. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is the responsibility of nursing home staff and management to ensure that each resident receives the care he or she needs. If you are concerned your loved one may be experiencing neglect, don't hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for advice.
A caregiver may face the overwhelming decision to place a loved one in a nursing home after a sudden event such as a fall or a stroke. Sometimes, there is more time to prepare, as in cases where the loved one suffers from a chronic or debilitating disease, including diseases where the patient is expected to deteriorate over time. Regardless of the medical reason, there are some signs of possible nursing home neglect that family members can look for.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Bruises and fall injuries.
If residents’ calls to staff for assistance go unanswered, they may be more likely to get up themselves and suffer a slip and fall accident. Staff inattentiveness could be due to understaffing or, in the worse cases, abuse.
Bedsores, or “pressure injuries,” are clinically avoidable but common injuries suffered by nursing home patients. Bedsores are wounds that develop from unrelieved pressure on the skin and can turn into very serious infections and even cause death. Often, bedsores result from an inability of the patient to move, turn over, or get out of bed so that they remain in one position for extended periods of time. The patient is therefore dependent on nursing staff to perform those functions. If the staff is not adequately caring for the patient, bedsores can be a sign of nursing home neglect.
Unexplained weight loss
Understaffed facilities may have problems feeding and giving medications to all of the residents on a routine schedule. This can lead to malnutrition, deficiencies in nutrition and other problems arising out of not getting their medications on schedule.
If your loved one is experiencing pain, foul odors, bruises, or weight loss, this could be a sign of nursing home neglect. These symptoms may be evidence of a fall, inattentiveness to the resident’s diet and eating habits, inadequate help with hygiene, insufficient supervision, and bedsores. Starting February 1, 2021, New Jersey nursing homes must abide by stricter rules around staffing. They must have one certified nursing assistant (CNA) per eight residents during day shifts, one direct caregiver for every 10 residents during the evenings, and one for every 14 during the overnights under new regulations signed into law last week.
Brandon J. Broderick, Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Don’t wait to act if your loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in their care facility. Our New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys can explain your legal options, investigate your case, and help you file a claim. Don’t let injustices against your loved ones continue. Contact us today for a free consultation.