Nursing home negligence is a troubling and tragic situation. Generally, the individuals living in a nursing home are not able to take care of themselves or even advocate for their needs. Because of this, they’re vulnerable to mistreatment or lack of adequate care.
We’ll explain everything you need to know about discovering and proving nursing home negligence to protect your loved one.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Much like any other health care provider, nursing home staff members are expected to provide the standard of care that the industry sets for nursing homes. When they fail to do that, these caregivers could be guilty of nursing home negligence.
Negligence can take many forms, including:
- Not administering medication as prescribed or as the patient needs
- Poor care for a patient’s medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Ignoring a patient’s needs for mobility, which can lead to bedsores
- Failing to report signs of infection or illnesses to medical providers
- Isolating vulnerable patients leading to mental health issues
- Not providing mobility tools, such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs
Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
Your loved one is likely living in a nursing home because they need round-the-clock care and special attention. While you might not be an expert in this care, you can spot signs of neglect to raise red flags and ensure your loved one is in a reliable facility where they’ll get the care they need.
Watch out for these signs of nursing home neglect:
- Bruises or unexplained injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- New medical conditions
- Signs of untreated medical conditions
- Hygiene issues (such as wearing clothes for days or not getting regular baths)
- Changes to your loved one’s personality
- Signs of mental health issues, such as not engaging with you during visits
How To Keep a Record of a Loved One’s Care
If you’re the guardian of your loved one, you can request medical records for your loved one. Or, if your loved one is of sound mind, they can make that request themselves. When the nursing home fails to give you the records, you should get an attorney involved.
It’s a good idea to attend medical visits with your loved one if you are able. This keeps you informed about their ailments and medications. That way, you can cross-reference the care the nursing home is providing with what their doctor prescribes. When you can’t attend these appointments, request the medical records or patient care summary after the appointment.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence
You should take several steps in protecting your loved one if you suspect nursing home negligence. Here’s what you should do:
- Ensure their safety. If they are extremely ill or not doing well, call 9-1-1. Alternatively, you can have them transferred to a different nursing home. Medicare.gov publishes information about nursing home facilities to arm you with relevant information when looking to transfer facilities.
- Ask your loved one if they’re getting adequate care. Talk about their medications, how often they get help with personal hygiene, etc. Your loved one might feel ashamed and not willing to discuss these matters with you or might not be of sound mind to understand their quality of care.
- Go to the nursing home administrators and present your concerns. You can file a grievance with the administrators to see to it that you get a resolution for the situation.
- File a complaint against the facility. The Indiana Department of Health makes it simple to file a complaint to protect your loved one.
- Document the signs of neglect. Take photos of your loved one’s state, keep detailed records, and request medical records from the facility. You’ll need to document the duration of poor care and all signs of abnormalities or mistreatment.
- Meet with an Indiana nursing home neglect lawyer. Sadly, nursing home neglect is surprisingly prevalent, and getting the nursing home to take you seriously can mean getting an attorney involved. Your attorney will protect your loved one’s rights, ensure they get the care they deserve, and seek restitution for wrongdoing.
Stewart & Stewart has a team of skilled Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers. Schedule a free consultation now to begin getting your loved one the care and attention they deserve.