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Negligence at Nursing Homes

You do not want to believe that your loved one may not receive the care you thought they would receive at their nursing home. Unfortunately, when it comes to cleanliness and hygiene, some nursing homes show signs of neglect. Nursing home neglect, unlike nursing home abuse, is a breach of duty that results in harm to the patient. If they fail to provide adequate care, your loved one may suffer from illness, injuries or distress. Some forms of neglect may include:

  • poor hygiene
  • poor sanitation
  • uncleanliness
  • medical neglect
  • neglect of basic needs

How Can I Identify Neglect at a Nursing Home?

All nursing homes must provide the basic necessity of keeping the facility clean and caring for the resident’s personal. Failure to do so can have detrimental health effects for both the staff and residents. Residents living in a negligent environment have higher risk of certain diseases, injury or illness. Neglect can also lead to serious injury or death.

While some neglect may be extremely obvious, you may not easily detect others. Physical signs may not always present themselves when negligence takes place. The best way to detect neglect remains to visit a close family member or loved one with frequent visits and notices. Even without neglect, your loved one will happily welcome you into their new home. Unfortunately, the elderly residents who don’t usually see their family may not know how to display their concerns.

Some signs of negligence may:

  • Malnutrition
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bed sores
  • Injuries
  • Dehydration
  • Alterations in appeareacne or personal hygiene
  • Environmental hazards at the facility including unsafe furniture’s and wheelchairs, bad light and slippery floors.

What Should I Expect from a Nursing Home Facility?

All residents at nursing home facilities have the right to a clean and safe environment so they can live comfortably. Staff at the nursing home facilities should be held accountable if they fail to keep the facility clean and safe for the residents. Negligence in nursing homes should not go unreported as it creates high risk of danger for the residents. The facility needs to pay close attention to the environment created for the residents and their needs.

A facility should take necessary steps to prevent injuries to elderly residents. The facility must also make sure the staff is experienced and have the skills to provide adequate care for the elderly. Facilities that are understaffed may assign more responsibilities for the individual worker to insure the resident’s safety.

What Should I Expect from a Nursing Home Staff?

The staff at a nursing home has an incredibly hard job. They care about your loved ones and want them to have the best experience at the facility. However, staff may not have the required skills or the time to ensure that they meet all of your loved one’s needs. To ensure the staff knows what your expectations are, use this list of tips:

  • Ask for ongoing communications with the staff regarding the resident’s care.
  • Make sure that the staff can always assist with your loved one’s needs, especially mobility.
  • If you believe that your loved one may have a high risk of falling, ask for close supervision and for help in ensuring their safety.
  • Pay close attention to the environment and ensure that the staff quickly resolves any sanitary issues or safety concerns for the residents.
  • The staff should regularly monitory the seniors for changes in mobile or mental ability.
  • Ask for assementments for any developing medical concerns you or your loved one may have

Research indicates that residents at the nursing home facilities who are frequently visited by family, friends or loved ones are less likely to experience the nursing home abuse, neglect or emotional distress. However, the responsibility of all nursing home facilities is to provide adequate care for the residents.

Therefore, check in on your loved one. Make sure the nursing home facility they live in remainsa safe and healthy space for residents. They a comfortable environment and to avoid any kind of nursing home neglect.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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