Today, approximately 1.3 million Americans reside in nursing home facilities. These facilities provide safe environments for adults who cannot safely live on their own. In many facilities, though, residents suffer from neglect.
When a nursing home resident is neglected, he or she can suffer physical and mental health problems. Neglect can come in many forms: a lack of nutritious food, a lack of water, missed medication dosages or medical treatments, and a lack of social and intellectual stimulation. If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home, visit him or her often to check on the conditions in which he or she is living. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected, discuss your concern with his or her caretakers. If you cannot resolve the issue with the nursing home’s staff, consider filing a nursing home neglect claim on your loved one’s behalf.Signs of Neglect
When you visit your loved one, keep an eye out for the following signs of neglect:
- A dirty or cluttered room;
- A change in his or her demeanor;
- A change in your loved one’s physical health condition;
- Rapid weight loss in your loved one;
- Poor lighting in his or her room or elsewhere in the facility;
- A sudden change in your loved one’s cognitive functioning; and
- Bed sores, also known as pressure sores, on your loved one’s body.
Although these signs can point to neglect, they do not automatically mean neglect is happening. For example, sudden weight loss or a change in demeanor can be the result of a new medication your loved one is taking. This is why it is important to discuss any changes or potential symptoms of neglect that you notice with your loved one’s caretakers. They might be able to explain the symptom you noticed. They also might be able to address your concerns and help your loved one if he or she does have a health condition.
You are your Loved One’s Advocate
Because the individuals in nursing homes often cannot advocate for themselves, they rely on their loved ones to be their advocates. If your parent or other loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in his or her nursing home, it is your responsibility to take action by contacting an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and determining the best way to handle the case.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Nursing home neglect is a form of medical malpractice because your loved one’s caretakers have the duty to create a safe, clean, nurturing environment for him or her. If your loved one is suffering from neglect in his or her nursing home, you need to be his or her advocate and file a nursing home neglect claim on his or her behalf. To learn more, schedule your free consultation with our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C.