What Does Nursing Home Neglect Look Like?

Back in March I discussed the signs of nursing home "abuse." If you remember, I stated that the federal Nursing Home Reform Act states that a nursing home must provide "services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care." I mentioned that although regulations were set in place to guard against abuse and neglect, it still happens. I listed some warning signs of abuse in my first post, so here are the warning signs to look for when you suspect your cared-for loved one is being "neglected."

Some signs of neglect are easy to see, but others can be hidden from sight. Take some time every so often to do an assessment of the living conditions of your loved one. It is also important to take the time to talk about the care they are receiving. Time is the key. Listen intently and let your loved one know you will take all the time they need to get their story out.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect means the negligent failure by any person with care or custody of an elderly or a dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a similar position would exercise.

Neglect includes, but is not limited to:

  • Failure to provide food, clothing, shelter, or help with personal hygiene
  • Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs
  • Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
  • Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration
  • Failure to provide the necessities of daily living
  • Failure to prevent bed sores
  • Failure to provide sanitary conditions
  • Failure to prevent infections

This list is a starting point. If you have questions, if you feel something may be wrong, listen to your intuition.

Carlson & Burnett attorney, Rich Hitz frequently addresses audiences in Nebraska and Iowa on nursing home abuse and neglect issues. Mr. Hitz has led and organized educational seminars for lawyers in an effort to increase professional awareness and understanding of these issues.

If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or elder abuse in Western Iowa or Nebraska, you should take action quickly and contact us at 402-934-5500 to set up a free consultation with Rich Hitz.

Retrieved from: "Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect" by Marya Sieminski, 8/28/2007

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