Understanding Nursing Home Neglect

Unfortunately, nursing home neglect of elderly residents plagues facilities across the United States. Deciding to put a loved one in the care of a long-term care facility is often one of the most difficult decisions families have to make. When that decision is made, families trust that their elderly loved ones will receive the highest quality of care possible. At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we believe in holding negligent nursing home facilities liable for the injuries and illnesses they cause to senior residents. Contact our legal team today at (651) 259-1113 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home neglect attorney.

What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

The elderly are often among the most vulnerable people in our society, and nursing homes owe a heightened duty of care to ensure the safety and health of their residents. When the nursing home administration or staff fail to live up to this duty, it can cause serious injuries and illnesses. Neglect of elderly residents can be the result of understaffing, poor training, or inadequate performance by the nursing home staff. Nursing home neglect can also stem from negligent administrative choices, such as failure to procure enough safety equipment or medical resources. Nursing home neglect can be just as devastating as overt nursing home elder abuse, and it can have serious and even life-threatening consequences. Consider visiting with an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law if you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of neglect or abuse as a resident in their nursing home.

Forms of Nursing Home Neglect

There are various types of nursing home neglect, but generally, neglect pertains to the failure of the facility to fulfill the basic needs of the resident.

Medical Neglect

There are several examples of medical neglect that elderly residents of a nursing home can suffer. Residents tend to have substantial medical needs. Elderly seniors typically require some form of regular medication, therapy, dietary requirements, repositioning in beds and wheelchairs, as well as special instructions for those residents deemed to have a heightened risk of falling. Some of the ways a nursing home can medically neglect their residents include:

  • Failing to reposition residents at required times and intervals resulting in bedsores
  • Failing to prepare medications properly
  • Failing to administer medications properly
  • Failing to provide appropriate therapy prescribed to residents
  • Failing to ensure that specific medications are paired with certain nutrition or water
  • Failing to identify and address any medical illnesses or injuries in a timely manner

Emotional Neglect

Nursing homes can be lonely places, especially for seniors who are feeling confused or disoriented as a result of neurocognitive decline. Emotional neglect by the staff of a nursing home can seriously harm a resident’s wellbeing. Some examples of emotional neglect may include the following:

  • Ignoring the resident’s needs and requests for food, water, hygiene, pain medications or assistance going to the bathroom
  • Failing to help residents with any transportation needs
  • Leaving residents isolated from other residents for a long period of time
  • Failing to address the emotional needs of certain combative, aggressive, confused or disoriented residents
  • Intentionally refusing to move, feed, hydrate, or help a resident in any way as a form of punishment

Neglecting Basic Needs

Neglect may also take the form of failure to provide for the resident’s basic needs, such as food, water, and hygiene. Because many residents are unable to perform daily functions without the aid of staff members, the failure to provide this care according to a regular schedule can cause the residents to go long periods without bathing or having their bedding changed and cleaned. Not only is this unpleasant for the residents, but it can also lead to serious medical conditions such as infections and bedsores.

Symptoms of Neglect

It can be difficult to detect when a loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse in their long-term care facility. Nursing home neglect is unfortunately widespread and pervasive, and sometimes the symptoms of neglect are consistent with common signs of aging. However, it is critical to be vigilant about the quality of care your loved ones are receiving, as they may be unable to express concerns or grievances themselves. Below are some of the symptoms of nursing home neglect to be aware of.

  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained bruises or cuts
  • Rapid weight loss or dehydration
  • Wandering
  • Confusion
  • Personality and sudden mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Unwillingness to accept visitors
  • Poor hygiene

At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we have experience handling nursing home neglect claims and may be able to help you identify symptoms and prove that your loved one was suffering from abuse or neglect.

COVID-19 Nursing Home Protections

The COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person visits to nursing homes difficult, if not impossible. It has also made the experience inside the nursing home facilities very lonely, isolated, and painful for many of its residents. During COVID-19, many states passed liability shields to protect medical facilities, including long-term care facilities like nursing homes, from liability for negligence during the pandemic. According to the American Bar Association, while these immunity bills seek to characterize COVID-19 as an unavoidable disaster, the pandemic really highlights years of the industry prioritizing profits over care by cutting corners.

Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuits

Nursing home neglect should be reported immediately. Not only should grievances be reported directly to the care facility, but you may also report issues directly to state authorities. If you believe that your loved one has suffered substantial abuse or neglect, contact law enforcement as soon as possible and remove your loved one from the nursing home facility.

Talk to an Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

If you are considering contacting our legal team regarding nursing home neglect or abuse, you likely feel frustrated, angry, worried, confused, and overwhelmed. Call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today to speak to an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer. Our firm has experience representing victims and their families. We fight tirelessly in the courtroom and at the negotiating table for the justice compensation our clients deserve. Call our office at 651-259-1113 to schedule a free consultation and tell us more about your case. We look forward to working with you.

Attorney Isaac Tyroler

Attorney Isaac Tyroler has been a strong advocate for injured people his entire legal career. He has a passion for righting wrongs, and he deeply cares about representing injured clients who may feel overwhelmed or uncertain about how to navigate the legal system. He is compassionate toward clients and aggressive with insurance companies and defendants. He is on the elected Board of Governors of the Minnesota Association of Justice (MAJ), the top personal injury lawyers’ group in Minnesota. And is currently the chair of MAJ’s legislative committee. [ Attorney Bio ]