Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

We place our elderly loved ones in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to help them live the lives they can no longer do on their own. By doing so, we trust that they will be properly cared for and given an opportunity to have a better quality of life. Far too often, those same facilities engage in abusive and neglectful behaviors resulting in injuries and deaths to elderly residents.

Falls

While largely preventable with proper supervision, falls account for the vast majority of injuries in people 65 years and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 35 percent of adults ages 65 and older fall at least once each year, making it the "leading cause of injury death" among the elderly. In 2007, over 18,000 died from fall-related injuries.

In 2009, over 2 million elderly people were treated for fall-related injuries, with nearly 25 percent requiring some hospitalization. Studies indicate that falls account for the vast majority of fractures in older adults, and can lead to serious medical issues if not treated promptly.

Signs of neglect

Nursing home residents who spend much of their time in bed may also be prone to developing bedsores, which are also referred to as "pressure ulcers." In their early stage, they are merely a red inflammation that can heal quickly. However, when bedsores are neglected and appropriate action is not taken to relieve them, the result can be an injury that penetrates the patent's muscle and skin, and proceeds to infect the bone.

In a facility that lacks appropriate nutritional plans, customized for each resident, it is quite possible that malnutrition will result. This can lead to weakening of the bones, resulting in falls and fractures. In such cases, the patient's immune system may also be compromised, which can result in a wide range of consequences.

Taking Legal Action

If a resident's loved one decides to pursue a case of nursing home neglect or abuse on his or her behalf, the first step is to document the injuries and contact an experienced attorney. This also involves consulting with the facility's medical staff and reviewing pertinent information related to the case.