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How to Recognize Nursing Home Neglect

There are a lot of ways nursing home residents can suffer from mistreatment at the hands of their caretakers. These include physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, and neglect. Of these types of abuse, neglect is unique in that it is not an overt form of mistreatment, but a lack of appropriate care. A nursing home resident can be neglected by not receiving adequate nutrition, appropriate medical care, not receiving enough water, living in a dirty environment, or failing to receive mental and social stimulation.

If you suspect your loved one is suffering from neglect in his or her nursing home, consider working with an experienced elder law attorney to file a neglect claim against the facility. Neglect can result in a significantly worsened condition for the victim, which can cause substantial financial damages.

Your Loved One Could be Neglected If:

  • He or she is losing weight rapidly. This can be a sign of insufficient nutrition. It can also be a sign of a health condition, which could be the result of insufficient medical care. Talk to your loved one’s caretakers about his or her weight loss to determine its cause;
  • His or her room is dirty. When you visit, take time to note whether the room itself is well-maintained or not. If the room is cluttered, smells bad, or is simply dusty and appears like it has not been cleaned, discuss your concern with the nursing home’s staff;Your loved one experiences a sudden personality change. He or she might become withdrawn, anxious, irritable, or otherwise unlike his or her former self. This could be due to dementia or a change in his or her medical care, but it can also be a sign of neglect or another type of abuse;
  • He or she is suffering physically. Bedsores or an unattended injury can mean that your loved one does not have regular contact with his or her caretakers or that he or she has been left in one position for a prolonged period of time; and
  • Your loved one is dirty. If he or she cannot bathe him- or herself, the caretaker should be doing these tasks. If your loved one smells or otherwise has not bathed recently, he or she could be suffering from neglect.

Neglect can occur when nursing home staff is overburdened or under-qualified to care for their residents’ needs. No matter why it occurs, it can have serious consequences for the victims when it occurs.

Work with an Experienced La Crosse Elder Law Attorney

When your loved one resides in a nursing home, you naturally want to ensure that he or she is receiving the best care possible. Do this by being a consistent presence in his or her life, which can mean making regular visits and phone calls. If you suspect your loved one is not receiving the proper level of care from his or her caregivers, contact an experienced elder law attorney to discuss the possibility of taking action against the facility. Our team of experienced elder law attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. can help you.

Published June 6, 2016
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