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Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence

 

Placing a loved one in the hands of a nursing home requires trust.  It requires trust that the facility and staff will properly care for your loved one.  Some facilities abuse this trust by negligently or intentionally causing physical injury to its residents. 

Nursing home abuse and negligence can be detected and inflicted in various ways, and its effects are easily recognizable.  Please be aware of the following signs:

 Bed Sores- develop when blood supply is to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours.  Bed sores can easily be prevented, by inspecting the skin for areas of redness before any arise.  Left untreated, skin can break open and become infected.

 Falls, Bruising and Fractures- Most commonly arise from vitamin deficiency and falls.  The leading cause of bruising is a deficiency in one or more vitamins.  Falls are dangerous to the elderly due to the brittleness of their aging bones.  These falls frequently lead to unnecessary institutionalization.

Dehydration- dehydration and malnutrition can lead to a wide range of serious health issues.  Dehydration and malnutrition are most commonly recognized by significant weight loss.

Molestation- elders are less likely to report or identify sexual abuse.  Cognitive impairment may also make it difficult for an older victim to explain and/or remember the act(s).  Physical and emotional signs can be seen to determine if this has occurred, including: bruising on the inner thighs, sexually transmitted diseases, sudden changes in personality, or fear of certain people or of physical characteristics.

Issuing Wrong Medication- perhaps the most common and most dangerous type of complacent neglect.  This includes wrong dose prescription, inappropriate medication, wrong time of administration, and the omission of administration.

 Unsupervised Wandering- Nursing homes should have policies in place to assess whether a resident is an elopement risk.  These facilities should plan to support the safety of elderly individuals who may wander; to avoid losing a resident or preventing environmental harm.

 If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule a consultation with Jesse Harris, please call (773) 221-4388.  Also, you can email Mr. Harris at harris@harrislawfirm.biz.