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Nursing Home/Abuse and Neglect

Whether your loved one is in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or group home they are at risk of experiencing the negligence of others. A loved one abused or neglected suffers significant injuries and possibly death.

Unfortunately, this industry has become a multi-billion dollar business owned by major corporations who are more concerned with profitability than with providing the proper care for their residents. Both Federal and State Governments around the country have introduced legislation to protect the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Warning Signs:

There are various indicators or “red flags” each family member should look for to determine whether a loved one is being abused or neglected. These “red flags” include:

  • rapid weight loss
  • bed/pressure sores
  • multiple falls
  • poor hygiene
  • bruising or fractures
  • malnutrition
  • low self esteem/depression
  • use of physical or chemical restraints
  • unauthorized use of medication
  • frequent illnesses and infections
  • failure to report health conditions to family and/or doctor
  • unexplained or unexpected death of a resident
  • inadequate staffing
  • failure of staff to acknowledge and timely deal with a change in the residents condition
  • serious injury or illness requiring hospitalization

Bed Sores:

Bed sores are sometimes referred to as either pressure sores or decubitus ulcers. These sores are typically caused by allowing residents to lie in the same position for long periods of time. The most frequently affected areas are the bony prominences of the body. Specifically, bed sores typically develop on the lower back, ankles, heels and toes

Physical or Chemical Restraints:

If you have a loved one who is at high risk for falls, you should request that the home take the proper precautions necessary to avoid any physical injury.

Typically staff will inform the family that physical restraints are against Federal Law. Should you feel that your family member needs some form of physical restraint to prevent injury, it is perfectly legal to utilize that physical restraint as ordered by a doctor.

Falls:

Elderly residents, especially those with underlying physical ailments such as Alzheimer or dementia, are typically at high risk for falls.

Upon admission to a home, the risk of fall for the resident should be identified. Although a one time unexpected fall may occur and be un-preventable, multiple falls should never be excused. There exists a multitude of fall prevention measures which can be utilized by a home to prevent falls of a resident thereby avoiding serious injury.

Under-Staffing:

Abuse and neglect resulting in injury typically comes from the nursing home or assisted living facilities lack of proper staff. Typically, a nursing home has several Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants on each unit to ensure the quality of care of the residents. However, homes owned by larger corporations typically do not provide adequate staff to properly care for the r