What Types of Neglect are Most Common in Nursing Homes?

Jacksonville Attorneys Asserting the Rights of Injured Senior Citizens

While elder abuse makes more headlines, neglect is a much more common cause of harm for nursing home residents. Abuse usually indicates an intent to cause harm, neglect is a careless action or failure to act that falls below the acceptable nursing standard of care. Nursing home neglect takes on many different forms, of which some are more prevalent than others. If you believe that you or a loved one has been subjected to this unacceptable treatment, the Jacksonville nursing home neglect lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group are available to help you pursue justice against the responsible parties.

What Types of Neglect Are Most Common in Nursing Homes?

The Florida Adult Protective Services Act defines neglect as the failure or omission of a caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the social and mental health of a vulnerable adult. Nursing home neglect generally falls into the following four categories:

  • Neglect of Healthcare Needs

Medical neglect refers to when a facility fails to adequately provide medical services for its residents, either to prevent medical issues from arising or to treat existing medical conditions. This includes situations such as staff failing to distribute the proper medications to patients, failing to take proper precautions to prevent bed sores, or failing to treat developing infections. Warning signs of medical neglect include malnutrition, bed sores (also known as pressure ulcers), and infections. In addition, many nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and lack of proper supervision for these individuals can result in residents wandering off and getting hurt.

  • Neglect Regarding Basic Needs

Neglect of basic needs occurs when a resident is denied appropriate nutrition and fluids. It also applies to facilities that are not clean and safe. Some indicators of basic needs neglect include a resident’s sudden or significant weight loss, a lack of hygiene, dehydration. Nursing homes in disarray or that appear dirty, that have environmental hazards such as slippery floors, or that use substandard equipment like unsafe wheelchairs are typically sites where basic needs are neglected. If a resident has experienced numerous falls or suffers injuries consistent with a fall, the nursing home facility may be an unsafe environment.

Personal hygiene neglect occurs when a resident does not receive appropriate assistance with activities such as bathing, toileting, and brushing his or her teeth.

  • Emotional and Social Neglect

This type of neglect is a result of nursing home staff consistently ignoring a resident or leaving the resident alone and unattended for long periods of time. A resident who displays changes in behavior or withdraws from social activities may be experiencing emotional neglect. Federal and Florida law require nursing homes have stimulating activities for the residents.

Seek Guidance from a Jacksonville Lawyer When Dealing with Nursing Home Neglect

Since nursing home residents are often unable to care for themselves, they are sometimes unable to report or recognize neglect or abuse. As a result, it is critical that family members be on the lookout for signs of neglect. If you believe someone is suffering from neglect or abuse in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, the Jacksonville nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at The Lawrence Law Group can help you take the proper legal steps to assert your loved one’s rights. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers assist people throughout Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Jefferson, Volusia, and Alachua Counties. You can contact us online or at (904) 632-0077 to discuss the legal options available to your loved one and your family.