Nursing homes exist to care for our elderly loved ones when we cannot do so. Unfortunately, long hours at work with long commutes and personal responsibilities make it quite challenging to care for our loved ones. However, not every resident going away to a nursing home receives proper care, and many have faced wrongful death.
Wrongful death refers to a resident’s death due to the care facility’s negligence—for example, insufficient nutrition, lack of supervision, and improper staff training. We’ll be looking at some of the reasons behind wrongful deaths in Nursing homes in this article.
With more senior citizens joining nursing homes annually, the ratio of service staff against residents is alarmingly decreasing. Different states have placed multiple policies upon nursing homes on the care and attention a resident needs. However, many choose to hire less or underqualified staff to cut costs and increase profits which causes a significant lack of engagement with residents.
Neglect and Staff Abuse
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are involved in criminal practices like neglect and abuse. They do not give the residents the required attention, which causes many problems for them. In most abuse cases, nursing staff do not provide medication to the elders at the right time or provide them with the assistance needed for daily activities like using the toilet or bathing. In these situations, residents who need help are likely to hurt themselves.
There have also been cases of physical abuse amongst nursing homes, like punching or slapping residents out of annoyance, resulting in death. It’s essential to get legal representation for a nursing home wrongful death, as these are criminal malpractices that can take a loved one away from you prematurely.
At a tender elderly age, the last thing you want is to feel anxious and worried all the time. Unfortunately, the second most common type of abuse in nursing homes is emotional or mental abuse. Many cases of staff belittling, abusing, and taunting elderly residents for their health or appearance are reported every year and seem to be prevalent. Not only does it fill the residents with shame and guilt, but it also hinders their confidence affects daily life. Out of fear of judgment, bullied residents often avoid asking for help and instead attempt to survive by themselves, defeating the purpose of assisted living.
Lack of Safety Equipment
Many nursing homes don’t install necessary aid and safety equipment for the residents to save money or due to negligence. As a result, living in places like these becomes a safety hazard. The examples of nursing home negligence towards safety include a lack of protective covers on the edges of sharp objects like table corners to prevent injuries, uneven flooring, which can cause a resident’s feeble steps to lose footing, a lack of walking wall support, and un-washed bedding being used for extended periods, to name a few.
These minor accommodations are a source of great relief for elderly residents, and the lack of such measures qualifies for a lawsuit. You should look into this should your loved one suffer from any of this neglect.
Medication Errors by Untrained Staff
Most elderly residents are on medication for various conditions. Unfortunately, many residents are often provided with inappropriate medication or doses, causing severe problems, especially for patients with Alzheimer’s. Brain disorders in the elderly tend to deteriorate quickly, becoming a significant risk. They can forget where they are and tend to escape from the facility and get lost, which is very dangerous and puts residents at risk of running into traffic or slipping and hurting themselves. In addition, they are at risk of bleeding to death if they are not found timely.
It’s essential to have trained and patient staff members available to deal kindly with patients effectively. Trained staff members can administer the proper doses in the event of an episode and can keep them from harming themselves. Not keeping able service members is criminally negligent of nursing home administrations.
Depriving Residents of Necessities
In some cases, elderly residents with mental disorders do not have favorable interactions with the onboard staff. As a result, staff members are often found guilty of holding grudges and depriving residents of food and water. With age, loss of appetite and thirst is common, but intentionally keeping food away from residents for extended periods is criminal. The elderly require fluids to maintain their health, and depriving them of that leads to dehydration. It hinders many bodily functions at their tender age, and however criminal or inhumane this practice may sound, it remains prevalent.
Staff members have often been found guilty of ignoring requests and complaints from the residents. Thinking of them as old and senile, they listen to the complaints regularly and choose not to act on them.
In many cases, they fail to notice a trend towards illnesses until it becomes too late to diagnose and treat them. This level of neglect has led to failure in preventing conditions like urinary infections, lung infections, or primary wound infections. This indifference towards the elderly has cost lives and trouble for their loved ones.
Ideally, nursing homes should have a proper plan to monitor and care for each resident effectively to diagnose their conditions on time. Losing a loved one is not easy, especially ones with whom you share years of memories. Keeping them close for as long as possible would be ideal, but sometimes families are not left with any other options, and it’s painful when you lose them to injustice by the very people responsible for their care.
If a loved one or someone you know is a nursing home resident, make sure they receive the care and medication they are entitled to and are not suffering from any form of abuse. If a nursing home fails to follow protocol and respect your loved one, you should consider reaching out to an attorney and seek compensation for your loved one’s troubles.