The information provided here is provided for persons or their families that are concerned they have been the victim of nursing home neglect.
If you have further questions after reading this page, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation.
Failure to Maintain a Clean Environment
Nursing homes are required under the law to provide a clean and sanitary environment for their residents. In many instances, this includes clean common areas, dining areas, and the areas in resident’s rooms. Failing to properly clean and sanitize a facility can cause preventable infections and illness.
Failure to Maintain a Hazard-Free Environment
Residents require an environment that is free from hazards such as defective flooring, trip hazards, stairs and walkways that do not have an adequate railing, furniture intended to be used for elderly people and free from defects.
Failure to Provide Medication
Medication errors are a common type of nursing home negligence. Nursing homes are required to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all residents receive the medicine they have been prescribed in a timely manner.
Failure to Monitor Medication
In addition to providing medication, nursing homes are required to monitor their residents and their response to the medication they are taking. This includes, documenting what medication the patient has been prescribed, understanding the plan of treatment for that patient, and monitoring the mediation and its effects on the patient. If the patient shows signs that they are not responding to the medication or exhibit signs of an adverse response, the nursing home is required to intervene by calling 911, calling a doctor or taking necessary steps to address the adverse reaction the medication.
Failure to Properly Administer Medication
Among medication errors, failing to properly administer medication is the most common type of nursing home negligence that concerns medication. This typically happens when one patient is mistakenly given the medication for another. Negligence also occurs where the wrong dose of medication is given to the patient sometimes resulting in severe medical complications or death.
Failure to Properly Staff the Facility
Staffing the facility is a core responsibility of a nursing home. This includes staffing the facility with the right number of people at any given time, and ensuring that the people employed have the appropriate qualifications to do their job taking care of the residents.
Understaffing in terms of numbers and qualifications is at the heart of most types of nursing home neglect. It is an insidious type of neglect because it is often the result of decisions made to increase profits at the facility and often in disregard for the wellbeing of the residents that rely on the staff and their judgment to receive appropriate care.
Failure to Prevent Escape
Escaping from a facility is common in nursing home and skilled nursing facilities. It occurs most often facilities that treat patients with memory problems, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If a facility is managed properly, no patient should escape. If even one patient escapes (sometimes referred to as eloping or wandering) that is a tell-tale sign of nursing home negligence.
Failure to Assist with Personal Hygiene
Most residents need assistance with hygiene. They need help keeping themselves clean, bathing, brushing their teeth, their hair and keeping their room clean too. When patients show a lack of personal hygiene that directly reflects on the quality of care they are being provided and is a strong signal that they are being subjected to neglect – and likely neglect that concerns more than their personal hygiene.
Failure to Routinely Assess Ongoing Medical Condition
Nursing home patients often have medical problems and complications that require ongoing care. These problems are why most patients have been placed in a nursing home, memory care, or skilled nursing facility.
The facility staff is there to provide care that includes routinely assessing the medical condition of the patient and communicating that condition with other medical providers. The nursing home facility is on the front lines and it is essential that they monitor the medical condition on an ongoing and systematic basis to ensure that any changes are quickly and appropriately addressed.
A common type of nursing home negligence occurs where the patient’s situation is not properly monitored and the information is not communicated to appropriate professionals. As a result, the patient’s condition worsens and in tragic cases, they may pass away due to the lack of timely intervention.
Failure to Properly Administer Necessary Medical Equipment & Care
Patients in nursing homes often require the assistance of necessary medical equipment. The staff at the facility should be trained in handling the equipment and assessing its functionality and safety.
Common equipment that results in different types of nursing home neglect is wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks, and feeding tubes. If you or a loved one have suffered injury due to a nursing home facilities lack of care regarding the maintenance, care, and/or use of medical equipment, it may be the result of nursing home neglect.
Failure to Provide a Proper Diet
Nursing homes should ensure each patient receives an appropriate diet that is balanced and provides the patient with the vitamins and minerals they need. Malnutrition and dehydration often result from the administration on an improper diet.
Failure to Assess Dietary Needs or Limitations
Many patients have special dietary needs and/or limitations based on their age, medication, or medical condition. One frequent and significant limitation is the inability to swallow certain types of food.
This swallowing limitation often leads to a type of nursing home neglect where the patient is given food they cannot swallow and as a result choke and in tragic cases, die.
In other types of incidents, the patient’s dietary needs are not assessed, or after being assessed, get overlooked and cause the patient to suffer from malnutrition or an adverse reaction with medication they are taking.
Failure to Assess Level of Care
Nursing home patients develop medical problems and needs on an ongoing basis. It is important that nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have procedures in place to routinely evaluate and assess the patients’ needs and appropriate level of care.
Failure to Transfer Care When Necessary
Nursing home patients commonly develop medical conditions that indicate they need to be transferred to a different level of care. Facilities should have policies and procedures in place to make this determination. When a higher level of care is indicated, the patient should be transferred. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. When a patient does not a receive appropriate transfer of care, the facility may be responsible for any harm that results.
Failure to Identify Bed Sores
Many patients are susceptible to developing bed sores (pressure sores). Sometimes nursing homes fail to have qualified staff on hand to identify bed sores and implement appropriate care.
Failure to Develop and Implement a Policy and Procedure Regarding Bed Sores
Sometimes the failure to identify bed sores is due to a lack of qualified staff and other times disregard for the needs of patients.