If you have an elderly loved one or a person with disabilities in your life who is cared for in a nursing home, you may be deeply concerned about nursing home neglect and abuse. People living in nursing homes are often particularly vulnerable, as they may face a range of barriers that prevent them from communicating about mistreatment at a facility that is supposed to provide them with care. Las Vegas personal injury lawyers have, unfortunately, encountered too many examples of people being neglected or abused at care facilities.
Neglect in Nursing Homes
Mistreatment in a nursing home can take many different forms. In some cases, staff, other residents or visitors to the home can be outright abusive, including perpetrating physical or sexual violence against residents. Even when these actions were carried out by an individual without the approval of the nursing home’s management, the house itself may be responsible for deliberate abuse regarding its failure to institute proper safeguards for residents or adequately screen staff and guests.
One of the most common types of abusive treatment in a nursing home is neglect. When a resident is neglected, he or she does not receive an acceptable standard of care. By being aware of the signs of nursing home neglect, people can help to protect their loved ones and know when to the best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas for help.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
One of the most visible signs of a neglectful nursing home is residents’ poor personal hygiene or unkempt appearance. Nursing home residents should have brushed teeth, clean nails, and neat hair. Their clothes should be changed regularly, and they should receive regular baths. Many residents are incapable of completing these personal tasks without assistance. This means that a neglectful facility may be filled with many residents who are not receiving the sanitary care or hygiene assistance that they need.
Hygiene problems can lead to many severe health problems, including painful dental issues, sores, and infections. If you go to a nursing home and your loved ones or other residents of the house appear dirty regularly, you should be alert for further red flags.
In addition to the residents’ cleanliness, neglectful nursing homes may themselves be unsanitary. Staff may not follow proper protocol for washing their hands when dealing with residents or their food. This could violate federal regulations that require nursing homes to maintain an infection control program for a safe, comfortable environment.
If you see that your loved one has soiled clothes, dirty sheets or an unclean bathroom area, he or she may be at risk of further neglect. These conditions can lead to further problems for many vulnerable residents.
Nursing Home Residents May be Malnourished or Injured
Physical problems can also point to a neglectful or abusive nursing home. Around the world, around 20 percent of nursing home residents suffer from some types of malnutrition. One factor that can contribute to poor nutrition is frequent staff turnover or inadequate coverage. Many residents may not receive all of their meals regularly, and staff may not monitor to make sure that residents are eating their food to get the nutrition that they need.
Dental problems and difficulties swallowing can also contribute to malnutrition. Without sufficient staff coverage to help people receive adequate nutrition, their lives or health could be at risk.
Many nursing home residents face physical difficulties with mobility. Staff often have the responsibility to help residents move around and receive some exercise. Again, insufficient staffing can pose a serious threat to residents’ health. Facilities with too few workers may leave residents in bed, further putting their mobility at risk. A lack of mobility can also lead to bedsores and other painful or dangerous infections.
Unexplained injuries may also point to neglect or abuse inside the facility. In some cases, abusive staff members may be assaulting the residents. However, these injuries may also occur due to a lack of staffing. People who cannot get help to accomplish tasks may try to walk themselves, climb stairs or use unmodified restrooms and may face serious falls, broken bones or head injuries as a result.
Nursing Homes’ Responsibility for Abuse or Neglect
Neglectful or abusive nursing homes can be held accountable for injuries to residents. In some cases, these facilities may face criminal prosecution or government investigations. In other cases, however, residents and their family members can work with injury lawyers in Las Vegas to seek compensation for the harms caused due to their failure to abide by their duty of care. Nursing homes can be negligent in providing care and supervision, in their hiring and retention practices, in the care of their property or their maintenance of relevant equipment.
If you or your loved ones have been injured by nursing home neglect, Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can help you to establish a case. In some cases, nursing homeowners may have violated state or federal regulations. Even in cases where a specific law does not apply, they still may have breached their duty to provide care to their residents. This may rely on expert medical opinions in some cases, while other instances may be apparent to people in general.
Some nursing homes may try to defend themselves by claiming that ill, disabled or elderly residents were primarily injured due to their other health conditions rather than the care facility’s neglect or abuse. However, the fact that a victim was vulnerable or unhealthy does not mean that a nursing home can neglect its duty of care – especially as this is often the reason the person lived in a nursing home to begin with.
If your loved one has been injured due to a neglectful or abusive nursing home, you can consult with the best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas to protect their rights. The experienced injury lawyers at The Schnitzer Law Firm can help you to pursue compensation for all of the damages you have suffered due to the nursing home’s conduct. You can reach us by phone at 702-960-4050 or use our simple online form to set up an initial consultation.