Placing a family member into and sites care facility or a nursing home, is a very tough decision to make. Unfortunately it is often the safest decision for your family member and with the high quality of facilities which we have at the moment, those who move into them can experience a very high quality of life in their later years. Unfortunately however, there are some cases where we see neglect of patients in these homes, of varying severity.

Whilst we would like to think that something like this would never happen, but unfortunately does and even a friend of mine had a family member who was being neglected. In the case of my friend who was a victim of nursing home neglect in Minnesota, the family were forced to bring about legal action. If you have a family member or loved one in a nursing home, it makes sense to keep your eyes open and these are some of the neglect issues which could take place.

Medical Neglect

Medical neglect can take many forms but it is usually centred around either medicine not being administered at the right times or at the correct frequency, or  medical issues not being reported. In the past we have seen situations where bed sores, ulcers or infections have not been reported, as the home is worried about culpability. We have also seen cases of diabetes patients not given insulin and cognitive issues unreported.

Basic Needs

Astonishingly, we have also seen cases over the years of basic needs being forgotten or denied to the patients. Simple care features such as giving enough food and water and bathing the patient regularly are basic human needs, yet there have been incidents where these have been completely forgotten by the nursing home. There have also been instances where the cleanliness and the level of hygiene which patients are living in, have been poorly maintained.

Social and Emotional Neglect

Patients in a nursing home are not just there to receive medication and basic care, the reason why families select a home for their loved ones is the whole care package. Unfortunately we have seen cases whereby patients are left to their own devices without emotional or social stimulus. For mental health patients in particular this can cause great pain and stress.

What to do if You Suspect

If you suspect that a loved one in a nursing home is being neglected, in any of the ways listed above, it is important that you remain calm, and understand what needs to be done. You must observe what is taking place, speak with you loved one and take advice from a legal team. Before you bring about any legal action, it is important that you have plenty of evidence to back up your claim from notes to photographs. If you suspect that your loved one’s life is in danger, you should call 911 straight away.

Thankfully nursing home neglect is a rare occurrence, but it can happen and you should be aware of the signs.