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What Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect?

Aug 17, 2007
In America today, we have placed nearly 2 million elderly family members under the direct care of a nursing home. Something you probably don't want to tell grandma or grandpa is that they could very well be living in one of the thousands that have been charged with neglect or abuse. Take notice. Neglect is widespread. Unfortunately, as most people grow older, they become more susceptible to negligence and unnecessarily become victims of abuse. Thousands of elderly men and women move into nursing homes to be cared for by others when they can no longer take care of themselves. Surprisingly, a large number of residents are not being given the care and attention they deserve.

Definition of Nursing Home Neglect:

Whenever the owner or person responsible for taking care of his resident fails to fulfill his obligation, neglect has just occurred. One might say a person has been neglected when the staff of a facility is not able to provide the resident with everyday necessities such as water, food, or professional care. Needless to say, the resident can be afflicted with health problems or injuries as a result of negligence. Various conditions might indicate a resident has been subjected to neglect or abuse. Some signs include cuts, bruising, dehydration, bed sores, symptoms of malnutrition, untreated wounds, behavioral swings, and general unsanitary environments.

Finding a Top Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer:

Whenever you suspect a loved one has suffered from neglect or any form of abuse, it is advisable to call your local police right away and file a formal complaint. After you file a negligence report with the police, the next best thing to do is consult with an experienced attorney that can handle that type of case in your State. A top nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to advise you of your legal recourse and represent your loved one if negligence or abuse is apparent. Should your lawyer recommend a lawsuit, the nursing home owner and its staff may be convicted of neglect and be held liable for restitution.

Help for Nursing Home Victims:

Many of us that choose to place our loved one into a nursing home facility naturally assume that the management and workers have the residents well being in mind. After all, nursing homes are supposed to provide professional care for those that can't care for themselves, right? As much as we hope Aunt Agnes will be properly cared for, too often we are let down and in some cases our worst fears are realized. Loved ones are being subjected to abuse and neglect, and it's happening everywhere. Staff members have been caught in the act of inflicting verbal abuse on elderly residents. Physical abuse and emotional abuse is just as widespread in American nursing homes today. Any form of abuse is inexcusable because it produces harmful effects to the resident as well as family members of the victim.

There are many signs that could show if your loved one is a victim of physical or emotional abuse at a nursing home: bumps or bruises on the body, cuts and scrapes, lacerations, burns, broken bones, changes in behavior, and mood swings. If you observe things such as bed sores, poor hygiene and unclean conditions in the nursing home, be aware that these could be additional signs of neglect. Nursing homes are ordered by the federal and state governments to meet specific requirements regarding the care they provide. This includes making sure an adequate number of professional employees are on hand to take care of the residents.

Unfortunately, many nursing homes will jeopardize the welfare of their elderly residents by not maintaining enough employees to provide care. There are nursing home abuse attorneys who can offer legal solutions if you or a loved one has experienced abuse or neglect. It is imperative that you speak with an experienced lawyer if you have questions concerning what can be done with your abuse claim. You or your loved one may be entitled to compensation for your damages or suffering.
About the Author
Tim Dillard has worked with some of the largest law firms in America and. Dillard is currently the host of Tops In Texas, (http://www.topsintexas.com) and president of Dillard Local Branding (http://www.dlbllc.com), a Houston-based web design, Internet marketing and search engine marketing firm.
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