Nursing home malpractice is a serious and potentially life-threatening issue. Although it’s rare, nursing homes can be sued for medical negligence or abuse, which could lead to the death of their loved ones. If you think this may be happening at your loved one’s facility, here are three warning signs that should tell you something is wrong.
Neglect is the failure of care providers to give patients the basic medical services they need and it’s happening more often than you think. A lot of nursing home neglect cases are caused because nurses, doctors, and others responsible for looking after people’s healthcare needs simply don’t do their jobs.
And while some neglect can result from an honest mistake or oversight on the part of the staff, some is intentional, with staff deliberately withholding basic care like pain medications or failing to alert family members when a loved one’s condition has significantly worsened. The legal representatives at https://www.dsslaw.com state that there are some major red flags that indicate the possibility of neglect. If you notice even one of these warning signs of neglect, you might think about getting some legal help.
- Your loved one reports instances of neglect. This might include feeling like nobody listens to them when complaining about how difficult something is getting for them to manage at home.
- You notice that charts are not being updated promptly. To maintain the accuracy of patient records, they need to be reviewed and updated regularly by qualified medical personnel. If your loved one’s condition is constantly changing and you see that their charts have not been altered for some time, there may be an issue of neglect going on with how they manage pain and other important updates regarding medication and treatment compliance.
- Your loved one reports that they call for assistance but get no answer from staff members. This can be indicative of problems such as the staff being overworked to the point where they cannot take care of all of the people who need their help.
- You see a lack in cleanliness and grooming for your loved one, including dirty clothes, soiled bedding, and long unsanitary nails.
Of course, this is not always what happens in every situation; sometimes it’s due to overworked employees who are running against tight schedules set by management.
It’s an act of physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment against a resident by anyone who works in the facility. This abuse can include acts of negligence on the part of caretakers that cause injuries to residents even if they do not intentionally intend to cause harm.
In many cases, abuse can be difficult to spot by family members because this is a very sensitive topic that staff members are legally obligated to report quickly when they see it happening; otherwise, they can lose their jobs or even serve prison sentences for failing to act on the behalf of the patient in question.
- Your loved one has unexplained injuries. This may include bruises, lacerations, broken bones, cuts and scrapes, burns on any part of the body, and other physical traumas that may indicate physical abuse.
- Your loved one reports instances of emotional abuse, which is usually caused by verbal assault or humiliation that makes them feel scared, angry, hurt, isolated, disrespected, worthless, helpless, anxious, and/or emotionally stressed
- You notice an increase in irritability with other residents and staff members because of how they are being treated or taking out negative feelings on others due to stress from lack of good care at the hands of the people trying to take care of them
- Their personal belongings or valuables are missing.
This includes failure to give them any medication at all during the time they are there, giving incorrect dosages, and/or giving them expired medicine that can cause serious health complications to arise.
Elderly patients are particularly susceptible to medication errors because it usually takes longer for their bodies to absorb certain drugs or treatments. They also have different metabolic rates than people who are young enough to metabolize things more quickly; therefore, two people who take the same exact amount of a drug could react very differently if one has an entirely different chemical make-up in their body than another person would have.
Patients deserve to get appropriate treatment from caring and compassionate healthcare professionals in a safe and clean environment. Your loved one deserves all of this and so much more to maintain their quality of life and enhance their time in excellent care at a licensed facility. But, if you notice any kind of malpractice – it is important to report and seek legal help.