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Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse in its most pervasive form is that of neglect. Decline in general health and eventually the deaths of those elderly in care of the nursing home care facilities are too frequently overlooked. Unfortunately, the signs of nursing home neglect can remain hidden even upon repeated visits to a nursing home which makes this form of abuse particularly sinister as it is often overlooked and ignored for so long.

There are different types of nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse. The most common, most repulsive, and most identifiable is physical neglect. Regrettably common in nursing homes today, physical neglect is represented in many forms, each of which is disturbing in their own right. Regardless of the form of neglect, contacting a nursing home neglect lawyer to provide justice to the victim of neglect as well as their family, and insure safer conditions for current and future residents. Below are just some of the types of Neglect:

Personal Hygiene Neglect

Victims of nursing home neglect often cannot maintain standards of personal hygiene without assistance from staff members. Without proper staff help, residents are often struggle & fail to properly change into clean clothes or perform basic tasks such as oral hygiene for themselves. These victims of nursing home neglect often do not receive the proper help they need with general cleanliness such as bathing and grooming - the signs of this abuse becomes telling with time.

Basic Needs Neglect

Food and water are the basic building blocks that all life on earth depends on, though victims of nursing home neglect often suffer dehydration and malnutrition. Families often find that nursing homes are the best option for the elderly loved ones to receive the proper professional attention and care. Expecting nursing homes to provide a safe and clean environment, exceptionally important for the less mobile elderly, is not an option and failure to provide one can also be considered neglect.

Medical Neglect

Families often assume that a nursing home will provide the necessary medical care for their loved ones needs along with their basic needs. Regrettably, this is not always the reality. Pressure sores, such as bed sores, resulting from remaining in the same seated or reclined position for a long period of time are a major problem in nursing homes; preserving patient health requires that these sores be treated and dealt with in a timely manner. Abrasions and cuts must also be treated quickly to prevent systemic infection in elderly, immune-compromised patients. Little or no physical exercise along with improper hygiene exacerbates the problem and can be a telltale sign of abuse. Medicine including insulin for diabetics is necessary for many elderly to survive. Abusing nursing homes often skimp on treatments or fail to treat at all.

Emotional Neglect

Emotional neglect can be as traumatic as any form of physical abuse but it is often more subtle and difficult to detect as physical signs are nearly undetectable near term. Elderly people often suffer depression and withdraw for social activities often electing to retreat to their rooms even though they are in dire need of emotional support and connection. Overburdened staff, stressed from everyday tasks, often is limited or have not time for friendly interaction with residents. Elderly residents need human connection and without a concerted effort from the nursing home staff, emotional neglect can take a terrible toll.

Dialogue and interaction is the key to identifying and uncovering nursing neglect. The challenge is the elderly are often unable to express to authorities or a loved one what is happening to them. Elderly victims often are ashamed or embarrassed to convey the abuse that is happening, though a more sinister reason for their silence can come from a form of physical or emotional threat that keeps an elderly victim silent. Perceiving no way of their situation and without protection that whistle-blowing will not lead to more abuse, elderly victims of nursing home neglect or abuse may feel they have no recourse or options available to them - including their legal rights.

Ending Neglect

Effective communication is the key to eliminating nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse and to facilitate clear understanding of affects and causes of neglect. Understanding and being aware of the signs and source of neglect and abuse allows legal options to become more readily available to victims and ultimately correcting the source of the abuse.

Regardless the cause of nursing home neglect, mistreatment and abuse is simply unacceptable. Awareness and education of the nursing home staff, the elderly and their families on all the forms nursing home neglect manifests itself will hopefully shine the light on and eliminate the injustice too many of our beloved seniors are enduring.

Nursing Home Abuse is a prevalent factor in Ohio, with almost 95% elderly neglect cases. Barry M. Ward Co., LPA offers is a renowned nursing home neglect and abuse attorney in Akron, Ohio specializing in basic, personal hygiene, emotional, and medical neglect.