Consignment to a nursing home is sometimes the only alternative for managing illness and disability in a person’s later years. The objective is that there’ll be round-the-clock attentive care and support. It often works out that way, but problems can arise.
Unfortunately, some nursing home residents become victims of neglect and even abuse.
Physical abuse and neglect
Though sometimes they have an innocent explanation, injuries can be a tell-tale sign of trouble. If there are unexplained bruises, unexplained falls, untreated pressure sores or unexplained rapid weight loss, you may be looking at a nursing home neglect case.
For instance, under Maryland law, nursing homes are required to have an RN (registered nurse) on duty 24/7. Additional staff, other RNs ad LPNs (licensed practical nurses) must also be on duty 24/7 to provide service and assistance as needed.
However, there are facilities that reduce staffing to cut costs. In so doing, they create untenable risks for their fragile patient population.
These patients often need assistance either with walking or with transferring from a seated or lying down state to a standing state. But if the help is not there or is rushed, impatient or inadequately skilled, otherwise avoidable accidents will happen. These often result in broken bones.
These patients also often need help turning in bed, and if attentive care is lacking, pressure sores may develop and go untreated. Pressure sores are extremely painful and can become infected, creating possibly life-threatening complications.
Barring medical reasons, rapid weight loss and dehydration may suggest substandard nutritional care. And bruising because of physical abuse by either staff or another patient points to a very poorly run site.
Nursing home resident abuse or neglect is a crime in Maryland. If you suspect this crime, then you must act. The assistance of effective counsel who can lead the way with targeted legal action can help enormously.