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What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

December 22 2023 | Personal Injury

Nursing home neglect refers to the failure of a long-term elderly living facility to provide the care and attention required to ensure the well-being of its residents. Neglect is a level of resident care that is shockingly low and can result in serious injuries, illnesses, infections and death. You can better protect your loved one from nursing home neglect by learning how to recognize the warning signs.

What Is a Nursing Home’s Duties of Care?

Nursing homes have a legal obligation to take proper care of residents. Various responsibilities are involved in this obligation, including helping residents eat, stay hydrated, bathe, dress, take care of personal needs and enjoy the best quality of life possible. A nursing home’s duties of care include:

  • Provide for a resident’s basic needs, including food, water and a clean living environment.
  • Ensure a resident’s physical, emotional and psychosocial well-being.
  • Address a patient’s medical needs in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Supervise residents who are at risk of falls, accidents or eloping.
  • Meet a resident’s personal hygiene and grooming needs.
  • Promptly address any emergencies, safety hazards, health issues or concerns.
  • Ensure the safety of staff members through screening and training processes.

It is unacceptable for a nursing home or its staff to treat elderly residents with anything less than the highest standards of care. The failure to meet a resident’s care needs is known as neglect. Despite laws in place to protect the elderly, vulnerable seniors suffer from neglect in many nursing homes in Connecticut and throughout the country each year.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Victims of nursing home neglect may not speak up for many reasons, including fear of retaliation or cognitive disabilities that do not permit them to report subpar care. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may be able to protect him or her from neglect by noticing the warning signs early. Common red flags include:

  • Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
  • Infections
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unchanged adult diapers
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Mental health declines
  • Withdrawal or isolation
  • Signs of depression or emotional distress
  • Sudden personality changes
  • Falls that could have been prevented
  • Unexplained injuries or frequent trips to the hospital
  • Undiagnosed or untreated health problems
  • Poor health outcomes or death without cause

If you notice something amiss during a visit to your loved one in a nursing home in Connecticut, ask him or her about the living conditions at the facility and how he or she is treated. If there are warning signs of neglect or abuse, report them to the nursing home. If necessary, remove your loved one from the care of the nursing home to bring him or her to safety.

Legal Recourse for Victims of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is a serious tort, or wrongdoing, that can have life-threatening consequences for a victim. If you or a loved one suffered from nursing home neglect in Connecticut, seek justice with help from an experienced New Haven nursing home negligence lawyer.

A lawyer can listen to your story and review your case to determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the nursing home or another party for a serious case of neglect. A successful lawsuit can hold a nursing home in New Haven accountable for failing to properly meet the needs of its residents. This could lead to changes on an institutional level that protect future seniors.

A personal injury lawsuit could also result in financial compensation to pay for the victim’s pain, suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses caused by neglect, relocation costs, lost quality or enjoyment of life, attorney’s fees, or wrongful death. For more information about a potential nursing home neglect claim, contact Jacobs & Jacobs for a free consultation.

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