Nursing homes advertise 24/7 care in a safe, comfortable environment. Sadly, many long-term care facilities fall short of that promise. Nursing home neglect has become deplorably common in the United States, and it often has fatal consequences. More than 90 percent of U.S. nursing homes were cited for violations of federal safety and health standards in 2007, according to the New York Times. These cases ranged from neglect to physical battery, financial exploitation and sexual abuse.
Data from the National Center on Elder Abuse shows that more than half of nursing home staff members confessed to mistreating their older patients within the previous year. Two-thirds of those cases involved neglect.
These statistics are unacceptable, but the actual numbers may be much higher. According to the National Council on Aging, only 1 in 14 cases of nursing home abuse are reported to authorities.
If you or a member of your family was abused or neglected in an Alabama nursing home, turn to Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. An injury lawyer in Birmingham will gather evidence, interview residents and staff members, and determine if you have grounds for a claim. The at-fault staff member or facility may be liable for medical bills and other damages related to the mistreatment. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.
5 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Most senior citizens dread the thought of entering retirement homes. However, if you do not have the time or medical training to care for your aging loved one, he or she may be more comfortable in a long-term care facility.
When our elder relatives enter nursing homes, we expect the staff to be professional, ethical and well-trained. Sadly, many of these facilities do not supervise their caregivers thoroughly, and all it takes is one negligent or abusive staff member to cause a fatal injury. If your loved one is in a nursing home, it is important that you visit him or her often – but do not announce your visit. This will prevent an abusive staff member from covering up the signs of mistreatment before you arrive.
Nursing home neglect takes several forms including:
- Hygienic Neglect: This occurs when a caregiver does not provide for a resident’s hygienic need
- Social Neglect: This occurs when a caregiver prevents a resident from interacting with other residents
- Medical Neglect: This occurs when a caregiver does not provide for a resident’s health-care needs
- Basic Needs Neglect: This occurs when a resident is denied water, a clean living environment or food
The symptoms of neglect are often subtle and difficult to spot. Here are a few signs to look for when you visit your loved one:
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions, such as a dirty kitchen or untidy linens
- Un-brushed hair or teeth, or overgrown fingernails
- Mood changes such as depression or abnormal aggression
- Dehydration or malnutrition
If your family member was abused, neglected, or financially exploited in an Alabama nursing home, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. A personal-injury attorney in Birmingham will help you pursue justice and compensation. Call 800-537-8185 to arrange a free consultation.