Nursing home neglect and abuse are not uncommon. Studies show that more than one in every ten nursing homes across the country has been cited for mistreatment of patients or residents. While some cases might be minor and involve no harm to the patient, others may even result in death. It is important to do your research before choosing a facility for your loved ones.
Here are some problems your loved ones might face at a nursing home
1. Poor Staff Turnover Rate
The staff turnover rate at nursing homes could be as high as 80 percent annually. This means that almost 20 percent of the caretakers will leave their jobs over two years. These changes can lead to problems like communication issues between employees and patients and increased chances of misdiagnosis and errors.
2. Lack Of Knowledge About The Patient’s Condition And Needs
While each nursing home has its own set of policies regarding patient rights, they must know about the medical history of all their patients. If a new employee isn’t aware of their condition or needs, there could be serious consequences. You should always keep an eye out for any signs of neglect from your loved one’s caretaker.
3. Failure To Follow Up With The Doctor
A good nursing home will ensure that all doctors’ medicines are given on time to maintain proper health. However, if a nursing home fails to follow up with the doctor regarding the medication, this may be a sign of negligence. Always check to see whether the medicine is administered regularly or not. If your loved one is facing neglect, you can also consider suing a nursing home for negligence.
4. Unsafe Living Conditions
If a nursing home is unsafe and doesn’t meet basic safety requirements, it could be a reason why your loved ones are suffering from neglect. For instance, an elderly person who suffers a fall due to a broken stairway or unkempt floors and walls is likely to develop permanent injuries.
Understaffing is a common problem among nursing homes. Sometimes, the staff working at a facility is not enough to take care of all the patients. This leads to patients getting neglected and mistreated, which could cause injury or even death. Nursing homes have to provide adequate training to their employees so that the patients receive proper care.
6. Negligent Handling Of Medication
Many times, medications are administered incorrectly at nursing homes. If a resident takes too much medication or does not get the correct dosage, they could suffer from harmful side effects. Be sure to monitor the nursing home’s records to ensure your dear one receives the right amount of medication.
7. Inappropriate Care Plans
Most nursing homes rely heavily on outdated care plans. The caretakers usually prepare these plans without consulting a doctor. A poorly drafted plan could lead to incorrect dosages, improper monitoring, and even dangerous mistakes. The caretakers must consider the severity of the patient’s condition and prepare a care plan accordingly.
8. Lack Of Training
A nursing home must invest in training programs for its employees. These training sessions help them understand how to handle different situations and avoid negligence. Proper training ensures that the staff knows what to do when something goes wrong. This is why a nursing home with poor training is a major cause for concern.
9. Lack Of Attention From Staff
Nursing homes often lack attention from the staff members. They may not pay enough attention to the individual needs of the patients. Some patients may feel lonely and anxious, leading to depression and other related complications. Proper care is crucial for a patient’s emotional health and wellbeing.
10. Overworked Employees
Overworking the employees could put undue stress on them. This could lead to poor service and careless mistakes. Some staff members might even have to work overtime unnecessarily, negatively affecting their performance. Overworking could also mean that the employees don’t get enough rest, increasing their likelihood of making mistakes.
11. Poor Communication
Communication is essential for any business or industry. However, many nursing homes fail to communicate with their patients’ family members. This can lead to misunderstandings between the family and the nursing home. Communication skills are necessary for the staff and management team at a nursing home.
12. Inappropriate Food
Nursing homes are responsible for providing food to their patients. If the nursing home cannot provide proper meals, it could be a sign of neglect. Patients need adequate nutrition and dietary intake to stay healthy. If a nursing home fails to provide the required nutrients, it could lead to malnutrition and other health complications.
13. Bad Hygiene
The employees and facilities at a nursing home must be clean and hygienic. If this is not the case, it could be a sign of negligence. The hygiene standards at a nursing home can influence the health of its patients. Every staff member at the facility should follow hygienic practices to ensure that the residents do not suffer from infection or disease.
14. No Accreditation
To become an accredited nursing home, the facility must pass certain tests and checks. However, some nursing homes decide not to go through the process. Since nursing homes are responsible for caring for the sick and elderly, they must adhere to strict rules and regulations.
15. Lacked Facility Maintenance
Nursing homes should take care of their facilities and equipment regularly. This includes regular cleaning, repairing broken furniture or appliances, etc. When a nursing home is negligent in maintaining its facilities, it can lead to serious hazards and injuries.
16. Failure To Report Medical Emergencies
Nursing homes are required to report medical emergencies to the emergency services promptly. If a nursing home fails to act in time, it could result in untimely deaths or fatal injuries. Nursing homes should identify and respond to medical emergencies as soon as possible.
17. Inadequate Equipment
Nursing homes require the necessary tools and equipment to perform their duties properly. If these are not available, it can lead to severe problems. Some examples of inadequate resources include non-functional wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches.
Read Also: 7 Tips to care for a Child with Cerebral Palsy
There are many signs of nursing home neglect. However, if you notice anything suspicious, it is best to consult an attorney immediately. If your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, you may want to file a lawsuit against the facility and bring an end to the negligence.