Families trust nursing homes and other types of long-term care facilities to provide a safe and caring environment for their elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, too many elderly people are neglected, abused, or financially exploited every year in these facilities.
Many factors can contribute to nursing home neglect, including poor hiring or training practices, understaffing, or failure to supervise employees or residents. Regardless of the reason, neglect in an elder care facility cannot and should not ever happen.
If your loved one has been injured or has become ill due to neglect on the part of nursing home staff or facility owners in Oklahoma City, we can help you demand justice. Our Midwest City nursing home neglect attorneys at the Cain Law Office have the experience and the resources to take on these tough cases. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Neglect is a form of elder abuse that occurs when a caregiver fails to provide adequate care to the older adult, whether they are a family member, patient, or resident of a facility. If a caregiver does not pay attention to the person’s needs, the elderly person could suffer severe harm or could become ill as a result.
Common examples of nursing home neglect include:
Failure to adequately evaluate a nursing home resident’s risk of developing bedsores and moving the person at appropriate intervals to prevent these painful ulcers could be considered neglect.
Falls Resulting in Fractured Bones or Head Injuries
The facility and staff may fail to evaluate a resident’s risk of falling and fail to take the proper steps to make sure the person does not fall and get hurt. This could include failing to put up bedrails or lower the mattress closer to the floor to prevent injuries from a fall. For residents who are at an extreme fall risk, this could include failing to secure them in wheelchairs when transporting them or providing assistance when walking with them.
Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to broken bones, tooth decay, depression, cognitive impairment, and even death. With proper care, there is no excuse for a nursing home resident to suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Staff should be paying careful attention to ensure residents get enough to eat and drink.
To put it plainly, neglect should never happen. The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home or another facility was likely a difficult one to make. Discovering that the staff and facility failed to uphold their promises to care for your loved one can be earth-shattering. You have every right to demand justice and compensation for what your family member has been through.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are four commonly recognized forms of nursing home neglect:
- Medical Neglect – This occurs when a nursing home fails to adequately address a resident’s medical concerns, like administration of medication, paying attention to mobility issues, preventing bedsores, and preventing infections.
- Neglect of Basic Needs – Residents can become dehydrated, malnourished, or ill if they are not provided with adequate food, water, and a clean living environment.
- Neglect of Personal Hygiene – When staff members fail to bathe residents, brush their teeth, and clean their clothes and sheets, the facility could be held accountable for neglect of personal hygiene.
- Social or Emotional Neglect – Isolating a resident, ignoring them, or otherwise subjecting them to emotional mistreatment is a form of neglect that should never be tolerated.
Causes of Elder Neglect in Nursing Homes
The three most common causes of nursing home neglect are:
- Understaffing – Facilities are responsible for keeping an adequate number of staff on hand at all times to meet residents’ needs. Failure to do so can lead to overworked, overburdened, or inattentive staff that may fail to provide the proper care to the facility’s patients.
- Negligent Hiring – Before hiring a caregiver, thorough screening should be performed, including background checks and certification verification to ensure that candidates are qualified and do not pose a threat to those in their care.
- Inadequate Training – Poorly trained staff are more likely to make mistakes that can cause residents serious harm, including medication errors, failure to supervise, or mishandling of residents who have issues with mobility.
Elder Neglect and Abuse: What Are the Signs?
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect happens all too frequently in facilities across Midwest City and throughout Oklahoma. Some of the warning signs of nursing home neglect that you and your family members should be alert for include:
- Poor Resident Hygiene
- Unsanitary Living Conditions
- Inadequate Nutrition
- Loss or Lack of Mobility
- Unexplained Injuries
- Psychological Issues
Do not hesitate to demand answers if you observe something suspicious. Your actions could save your loved one and others at the facility from neglect or abuse.
What to Do About Nursing Home Neglect
If you are concerned about the quality of care that your loved one is receiving, or if you have proof of neglect and negligence on the part of nursing home staff or the facility, take action right away. You should take the following steps:
- Take pictures, including injuries your loved one has suffered (like bedsores or injuries caused by falls).
- Contact the Oklahoma Department of Human Services at 1-800-522-3511.
- If you feel that your loved one’s health and safety are at immediate risk, call 911.
- You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and file a complaint with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
- Contact an experienced Midwest City nursing home negligence lawyer right away.
If Your Loved One Has Suffered from Neglect in a Nursing Home, We Can Help
If your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility, you are most likely experiencing a range of emotions: shock, confusion, fear, and anger. You may be asking yourself questions like: How could this happen? What do I do now? How can I protect and seek justice for my loved one?
At the Cain Law Office, our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers in Midwest City can help you put an immediate stop to the neglect and mistreatment of your loved one. We will fight to hold the facility accountable when negligence is exposed. Our compassionate legal team will demand the full compensation your loved one needs and the justice that your family deserves.
To discuss your rights and legal options with a Midwest City nursing home negligence attorney, contact our office today for a free consultation. Together, we will send a message that the mistreatment of our older family members will not be tolerated.