Nursing homes are establishments where people from all walks of life place their utmost trust in medical care professionals. All Americans know someone or have personally experienced nursing homes. They should be places of safety where senior citizens can experience peace and have their needs provided. Unfortunately, far too often, this is not the case. Senior citizens are sometimes verbally, psychologically, and physically abused or given less than satisfactory health care, hygienic, or emotional attention.
Some signs that a person may be suffering from nursing home neglect include:
- Frequent arguments between the caregiver and the patient
- Changes in personality and behavior of the patient
- Unexplained signs of injury
- Failure to take medication/ Overdose
- Caregiver's refusal for you to see the patient alone
- Weight loss
- Unsanitary conditions
- Significant changes in the patients financial conditions
- Items or cash missing
If a loved one has suffered through any of the following, contacting an experienced attorney is your best option for fighting for their rights and achieving retribution. The following is a list of commonly neglected elements of nursing home care: Basic Needs: Though families often decide nursing homes are the best place for their elderly loved ones to receive care, nursing home neglect may take the form of a failure to provide basic needs. Food and water are the building blocks of life, but an unsettlingly common problem for victims of nursing home neglect is dehydration and malnutrition. A safe and clean environment is exceptionally important for less mobile elderly people, and failure to provide one can also be considered neglect.
Hygiene: For some elderly nursing home residents, standards of personal hygiene are difficult to maintain without assistance from staff. Without external help, residents are left to shift for themselves for a clean change of clothes or even such basics as oral hygiene. Victims of nursing home neglect may not receive the help they need with bathing, grooming, and general cleanliness, and the signs of their abuse become telling with time.
Medical Care: As with basic needs, most families assume that a nursing home will provide the necessary medical care for their loved ones. This is not always the case. Pressure sores, or bed sores, are a major problem in nursing homes and result from remaining in a seated or reclined position for a great length of time; they must be dealt with in a timely manner to preserve patient health. Untreated cuts, too, must be dealt with quickly to prevent systemic infection in elderly, immune-compromised patients. Neglecting hygiene and physical exercise exacerbates the problem and can be a telling sign of abuse. Additionally, many elderly people need medicine to survive, including diabetics who need insulin. In countless cases nursing homes skimp on treatments or fail to treat entirely.
Emotional Needs: One of the most difficult types of nursing home neglect to identify does not manifest itself in obvious physical signs. Emotional neglect can be as devastating as any physical abuse but can be much more subtle in its onset and manifestation. Overburdened staff can often let the stress of their everyday tasks prevent friendly interaction with residents. Elderly people are susceptible to depression and may retreat to their rooms, withdraw from social activities, and be in dire need of emotional support and connection. Without a concerted effort of the part of nursing home staff, emotional neglect can take a terrible toll on the residents who so need human connection.
If you believe that a loved one has suffered nursing home neglect, it is important for you to contact an expert in the legal field who can guide you through the complicated process of standing up for the victim's rights. Anthony Macri has this expertise, possessing over 30 years of experience working in the medical malpractice field. Macri is an independent attorney, which allows him to personally focus on your case from the day of your consultation through the day when you receive the compensation you deserve. You cannot afford anything less than an attorney who will advocate aggressively for you when you, relatives, or friends suffer nursing home neglect (Anthony Macri on Trying Cases). For an ally in the courtroom, contact Anthony J. Macri at 973-538-6200.