Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Explains the Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect to Protect Your Loved Ones From Harm
One common problem in nursing homes and long-term care facilities is nursing home neglect. According to statistics from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), data confirms that 1 in 10 individuals over 60 years of age will be the victim of elder abuse. Other statistics from the National Center for Victims of Crime demonstrate that this equates to roughly 5 million victims each year in the United States, with nursing home neglect accounting for approximately 14% of all types of abuse and behind only verbal abuse. Unfortunately, both sets of statistics indicate that nursing home abuse and neglect is grossly underreported, with as few as only 1 in 24 instances of abuse or neglect being reported to authorities. That’s why it is important for victims or families of a possible victim to know the common signs of nursing home neglect and that they should contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer to investigate their claim.
Here at the Noll Law Office, their husband-wife team are fifth-generation lawyers, serving Springfield and traveling throughout Illinois to protect the rights of victims and their families. This includes personal injury victims, such as those who have been subject to nursing home abuse, neglect, and negligence. As the statistics above indicate, historically these types of personal injury cases are hard to prove and likely to evade detection – especially because statistics indicate that roughly half of residents in nursing homes or long-term care facilities with dementia are abuse or neglected by caregivers at some point in their stay.
If you or a loved one may have been the victim of nursing home abuse in Illinois, contact the experienced nursing home neglect lawyers to learn more about your rights to compensation during a FREE consultation.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Although most people understanding nursing home abuse to be physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or other relates types of intentional misconduct, nursing home neglect is a much more difficult concept to define. This is acknowledged by government researchers, who consider neglect of elderly residents in facilities to be a growing concern. According to that research study, the general consensus is that nursing home neglect consists of either 1) the refusal or 2) the failure of a caregiver to fulfill his or her obligations to another person that the caregiver is responsible for, including food, water, clothing, hygiene, medical needs, supervision, and other reasonable care.
Therefore, there are two general categories of nursing home neglect which are recognized under Illinois law. This includes:
Most people consider nursing home neglect to be unintentional neglect. That means that nursing home staff are neglecting a resident in a manner that is not on purpose or willful, but due to factors which either prevent them from caring for a resident or which cause them to forget. Some examples of unintentional neglect include the following:
- Understaffing in a nursing home
- Staff being inadequately or not trained, and moving too slow for the resident load that they have been assigned
- Caregivers not being trained at the level of care necessary for a resident (i.e., not able to handle respiratory therapy but assigned residents that need that higher level of care and should have either a nurse or respiratory therapist assigned to them instead of a tech or lower-level nurse)
- Inadequate supplies or tools to monitor and treat residents
- Communication errors during assignments, particularly when shifts change and report isn’t given to new staff about a resident who is then left monitored
- Technology failures, including monitoring tools for residents that do not work (either because they are not set up properly, not maintained, or not used correctly)
- Negligent hiring of staff who are not qualified to work as a caregiver in a home, and
- Other instances of unintentional neglect that the experienced nursing home neglect lawyers at the Noll Law Office can handle for you.
The other type of neglect which most people do not realize is neglect, and researchers noted above consider it different than abuse, is intentional neglect. That is when a caregiver refuses to provide certain care to a resident. Such refusal may be due to a caregiver “punishing” or not wanting to work with a difficult resident, or it could be because the task that is necessary is not one which the caregiver wants to perform (such as cleaning soiled bedsheets).
Some examples of intentional neglect include the following:
- Leaving a resident in bed all day or for long period of time
- Not taking a resident to the bathroom when asked
- Leaving a resident in a bathtub or shower, including when it begins to get cold
- Refusing to provide food or water to a resident
- Not picking up a resident who has fallen as punishment for getting out of bed without help
- Failing to engage with a resident, including talking to, offering social activities, or otherwise taking a resident out for a walk
- Leaving a resident in a wheelchair, chair, couch or another location for long periods of time
- Not brushing a resident’s hair, teeth, or performing daily hygiene
- Failing to shower to bath a resident
- Refusing to change a resident’s soiled sheets, diaper, or other related needs
- Not changing a resident’s clothing which could result in skin rashes, and
- Other types of serious, intentional conduct that could result in nursing home neglect and personal injuries to innocent residents.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect in Illinois
Even though nursing home neglect is difficult to detect, there are some warning signs that all families should know about to protect their loved ones in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. This includes some of the following warning signs of nursing home neglect in Illinois:
- Recurring rashes
- Acne, oily skin, excessively dry skin, or similar blemishes
- Old clothing that is soiled, torn, ripped, stained, or otherwise not routinely changed
- Repeated infections
- Loss of teeth, crowns, or dental work which were healthy prior to entering the nursing home and the damage to them accelerated beyond what is normal or expected
- Long nails or hair
- Foul smells or odors from a resident that are not normal
- Loss of weight from lack of food or water
- Excessive weight from improper food or not being taken for walks
- Unexplained fall injuries, including from not being taken out of tubs, bed, wheelchairs, or other seated or laying down positions from neglect
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Wrist injuries from restraints that are being excessively applied
- Loss of hair
- Unshaven faces which are abnormal for a resident
- Social withdrawal of a resident, including talking less or making less eye contact, and
- Other types of troubling indications or warning signs of nursing home neglect in Illinois.
Call the Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at the Noll Law Office if You See the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect in Illinois
If you, a family member, friend, or another person observe the possible signs of nursing home neglect in Illinois, contact the Noll Law Office to learn more about how their experienced nursing home neglect lawyers in Illinois can protect your rights to compensation under the law. They offer FREE consultations and case evaluations, helping victims and their families learn more about their rights to compensation and how the Noll Law Office can obtain it for them. To get more information, contact them for help today.