While nursing home neglect and abuse are similar, they are not the same. Nursing home abuse involves an intent to harm the elderly person, while neglect is failing to provide adequate care that results in harm to the patient. There are various types of neglect, such as personal hygiene neglect, medical neglect, basic needs neglect, and emotional or social neglect.
Identifying nursing home neglect can be difficult as there may be no physical signs present. There are, however, many warning signs that one should look out for in a nursing home before placing a loved one in their care. If your elder suffered any abuse, you may require legal advice from a Los Angeles personal injury attorney like Belal Hamideh.
One of the basic requirements for the elderly is a balanced diet. This might seem obvious, but there have been many cases in which nursing home residents have not been provided with adequate nutrition. Inspect the home’s meal calendar and have a look at where and how they prepare meals.
Meals should be varied, balanced, and tailored to the patient’s specific nutritional needs. If you see underweight residents, you should suspect neglect. Contact Belal Hamideh law if you suspect that your loved one is being neglected.
The facility is understaffed
Any care facility should have enough care providers, but understaffing is becoming an increasing problem in nursing homes. When a facility is understaffed, the risk of neglect increases enormously. Check to see that the facility you are considering is adequately staffed.
Lack of privacy
Often, a loved one will be required to share a room with another resident. That does not mean that he or she should not be afforded the privacy that everyone deserves. Instead of a thin curtain between residents, there should be a solid divider.
Lots of temporary staff
Quite many nursing homes have a small percentage of permanent nurses, instead relying on agency staff. The problem with temporary staff is that there is usually a high turnover so that residents are not able to form a bond with these caregivers. Instead, a nursing home should have at least 70 percent permanent carers. Ask the home’s representative the ratio between permanent and contract staff.
Lack of freedom
One of the biggest problems of nursing home living is isolation. Note if the nursing home keeps their residents isolated, or if they allow them to walk around and interact. The loss of freedom and independence can lead to depression and loneliness. A good nursing home will have a program of activities for residents, where everyone can interact in an unrestricted manner.
An arbitration clause
When you are arranging for a loved one to move to an assisted living facility, there will be a contract to sign. Sometimes, the contract will have an arbitration clause that mandates arbitration instead of legal action in the case of problems such as abuse or neglect. You certainly don’t want to be locked into an agreement that prevents you from taking legal action. Consult Belal Hamideh Law for assistance in this instance.