Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Cleveland
Nursing Home Neglect – Ohio Nursing Home Care is Inadequate at Best
Our golden years are typically a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor. For those of us who reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility, proper care and safety should never come into question!
Ohio leads the country with some of the WORST ratings for nursing home and skilled care facilities. If you or your loved one has suffered an injury due to negligence at a nursing home or assisted living facility, call me! We need to hold all responsible parties accountable. I’m a nursing home abuse lawyer and you deserve justice and fair compensation!
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities serve a variety of purposes. From short term care and rehabilitation following an injury or surgical procedure, to long term care and housing. Negligence of any kind is simply inexcusable. When you have entrusted your care, or the care of a loved one to a licensed facility, the last thing on your mind should be elder abuse. Nursing home malpractice is too prevalent and the responsible parties must all be held accountable!
I have more than 40 years of experience as a Cleveland nursing home abuse attorney, and cases of neglect are intolerable. Let’s discuss your injury claim, or that of a loved one. Call me today for a free consultation!
Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect
Unexplained bruises, burns, or scars
Bruising on a patient in a nursing home may appear black and blue, green or yellow and range in size, shape, and color. Physical abuse may have a particular pattern or shape indicative of how and when they were inflicted. Hand-shaped bruises, loop marks caused by striking with a cable or cord, and linear bruising are signs of nursing home abuse. Excuses for these actions are unfathomable!
Burn injuries are another sign of nursing home abuse. These may range from minor burns, which only affect the outer layer of the skin, to third-degree burns, which can destroy nerves and cause permanent numbness. More severe burns have a black, brown, or white appearance. The presence of scars on a patient are definite warning sign of nursing home abuse.
Observing the injuries that result from the physical abuse of your loved one is heartbreaking! Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Dirty or unkempt appearance
Some signs of nursing home neglect may include dirty or smelly clothing, an unkempt appearance, and poor hygiene. It is important to pay attention to these signs and report any concerns to the appropriate authorities. It is also important to understand that attention to nursing home residents is paramount. If your loved one has soiled garments, dirty & tangled hair, mouth sores or more, this is considered nursing home neglect!
Depression, confusion, or withdrawal may be indicative of nursing home negligence.
Depression and withdrawal can be signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. These signs may indicate that the resident is experiencing abuse or mistreatment by caregivers. Nursing home residents may become depressed due to social isolation, lack of stimulation or activities, or poor treatment from the staff. Being engaged is very important for an elderly person. This promotes a healthy mind, and a positive attitude.
If a patient is being neglected or mistreated, they may withdraw from the social interactions and participate less in activities.
Isolation from friends and family
Isolation from friends and family can be a sign of nursing home abuse. It may indicate that the patient is not receiving appropriate social support and interaction. The nursing staff should encourage residents to maintain social connections and avoid isolating them from their loved ones.
Studies have shown that family involvement in care is important for an elderly person’s well-being. Nursing homes should make every effort to engage families in the care of their loved ones.
Caregiver’s explanations that dismiss signs and symptoms of elder abuse
When a caregiver dismisses signs and symptoms of a resident in a nursing home, it can be indicative of abuse. This shows a lack of attention and care towards the patient’s well-being.
Dismissal can also be a sign of caregiver burnout, which can lead to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. It’s important to report any concerns to the nursing staff or healthcare provider. Sometimes neglect is unintentional, but the product of circumstance. As a nursing home lawyer, I know most of the staff is very caring and attentive. It is essential for facility to ensure their staff is well supported, so they can effectively care for nursing home residents.
Unusual banking transactions may indicate nursing home abuse
In general, unusual or suspicious banking transactions are those that are inconsistent with a person’s typical activities. Sudden, large withdrawals or transfers of funds to unfamiliar accounts are indicators your loved one may be suffering from financial abuse.
If you suspect unusual banking transactions have occurred for your loved-one in a nursing home, it’s important to report your concerns to the proper authorities for further investigation.
Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors
A caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see a resident alone can be a warning sign of emotional abuse. This behavior may be used as a means of controlling the patient and isolating them from potential sources of support and intervention.
A definite sign of nursing home abuse, is when a caregiver threatens harm if a resident wants to see family or other visitors. This is a form of coercion, and a way of exerting control over the patient’s decisions and actions.
Sudden changes in behavior or demeanor
Sudden changes in behavior or demeanor in nursing home residents are often signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. These changes include withdrawal or agitation, unexplained crying or mood swings, sudden silence, or changes in personality.
Common causes of such behavior changes may include medication changes, dementia progression, and changes in health conditions. However, it is important to be aware of signs of abuse or neglect when you have a loved one in a nursing home.
Nursing home negligence resulting in dehydration, malnutrition, or weight loss
Dehydration and weight loss are common issues among nursing home residents and can be indicative of neglect. Elderly residents in nursing homes are at a higher risk for dehydration because of decreased fluid intake and the inability to regulate their fluid balance. Neglecting to provide adequate fluids can lead to chronic dehydration, which may cause kidney failure, shock, and other serious health issues.
Weight loss may be another sign of neglect and may be due to a lack of nutrition and adequate care. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to weakened immune systems, increased risk of infections, and an overall decline in health.
Unsanitary living conditions is nursing home neglect
Unsanitary living conditions in a nursing home is a sign of neglect. The staff must have a consistent cleaning schedule, since residents are unable to do it for themselves. Poor living conditions can include dirt, bugs, soiled bedding and clothes.
If a nursing home resident is living in unsanitary conditions, it is a sign of neglect.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect May Include:
Lack of proper physical care
Exercise to improve movement – Flexibility exercises such as stretching, can increase mobility and make daily activities for the nursing home resident easier.
Exercise to improve strength – Exercises, which are performed by the patient without assistance, can help increase muscle strength. Resistive exercises, which involve pulling or pushing against an opposing force, are also helpful in improving muscle strength.
Exercise for balance – Balance exercises can help prevent falls, which is a common problem in older adults. Improving steadiness and balance can significantly reduce the chance of a fall injury.
Proper physical care is another feature most nursing homes offer. For the health of your loved one, be sure to confirm the facility offers consistent physical activity.
Rehabilitation exercises aim to improve function and reduce pending disability in individuals with health conditions. The ultimate goal of rehabilitation in nursing homes is to restore residents to their highest possible level of physical, psychological, social, and economic function.
Substandard Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy helps residents carry out daily life tasks and activities in their living area and in community settings. Maintaining a level of independence is very important for the psychological well-being of elderly residents.
Poor memory care
Nursing homes use various strategies to help improve the memory of their residents with dementia or other memory-related conditions. Familiar faces can help calm and reassure confused or anxious residents, while familiar objects, such as clocks and calendars, can assist in maintaining reality orientation. Nurses frequently orient clients to reality and surroundings, and use other items, such as daily schedules, to help improve memory.
Poor emotional care
Nursing homes provide emotional care for their patients, particularly those with terminal illnesses and chronic mental health conditions. This includes managing and supporting the patient’s emotions, assessing their emotional well-being. Staff should be encouraging them to express their feeling., and providing them with access to trained professionals such as social workers and therapists.
Emotional health is important to physical health as well. Patients who are unable to express their emotions properly are less likely to stay active and involved.
Lack of timely medical care
Timely medical care is crucial for nursing home residents to ensure optimal health outcomes and prevent adverse events. The likelihood of desired health outcome is increased by timely and effective care.
Lack of proper medical care
Missed nursing care is a common problem in nursing homes. A heavy workload or understaffing contribute to this issue. This results in important tasks being delayed or not completed all which can compromise the quality of care provided to nursing home residents.
When selecting a nursing home for your loved-one, medical care is at the forefront of criteria. Attentive health care is a reasonable expectation, and when it is not properly met, you need to call me right away!
Medication error negligence
Medication errors can occur from choosing the proper medication, to writing the prescription, or administering the medication. A heavy workload or understaffing often results in medication errors and injury to the nursing home residents.
Nursing home residents rely on an attentive and caring nursing staff for their well-being. Unfortunately, there are instances where caregivers fail to fulfill this obligation. In such cases, action is necessary. As a Cleveland nursing home abuse attorney, I want to set the bar high for the standard of care! If you or your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, call me and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Withholding food from a resident in a nursing home can have significant physical implications. Patients who are physically able to eat and drink, but are routinely unfed may experience malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and increased risk of infection.
Withholding nutrition or hydration from residents by those who lack decision-making capacity, can present ethical dilemmas for healthcare providers. No one should ever suffer from hunger, especially at the hands of an abuser in a nursing home.
Withholding hygiene care
Maintaining good personal hygiene is important for everyone’s health and well-being. This is especially true for patients in nursing homes who may require assistance with basic hygiene care. Patients may develop infections, skin irritations, or other health =related issues, if hygiene is not managed properly.
Neglecting personal hygiene care can also lead to social isolation and decreased self-esteem, causing a negative impact on the patient’s overall mental health.
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. These most often occur in bony areas of the body like the heels, hips, and tailbone.
Nursing home patients are particularly susceptible to bed sores due to limited mobility and reliance on caregivers to help them move or adjust positions. Bed sores can cause significant pain, and in severe cases, can lead to infections that may require hospitalization and surgery.
Lack of personal hygiene care in nursing homes can lead to the development of genital infections in patients. Poor hygiene practices, such as infrequent bathing or changing of soiled clothing, can increase the risk of developing these infections.
Symptoms of genital infections may include vaginal soreness and discomfort, inflamed or swollen skin around the vagina and vulva, changes in the amount or color of vaginal discharge, and pain during urination.
Loss of possessions
Nursing home residents, particularly those with dementia, may experience problems with losing items. Hearing aids, glasses, dentures, handbags, jewelry, walkers, clothing, wallets, and keys are all difficult to keep track of. This can lead to stress and potentially costly situations for patients and families. Staff may need to assist in finding lost items, particularly for residents with dementia who may struggle with independent item retrieval.
How Nursing Home Negligence Has Become Commonplace
Lack of protocol and proper documentation/reporting often leads to poor care and accountability . The rising cost of nursing homes and care facilities do not curb the issue! Unfortunately, Ohio was once again named as one of the lowest rated states for nursing home and assisted living care. Poor staffing, missed training and overall facility health are among the factors evaluated.
Ohio institutions are among the lowest in the country with over 41% of Ohio nursing homes receiving a rating of 1 or 2 out of a possible 5 stars!
50% lower required minimum training time than other states
Lower staffing minimums for patient to staff ratios means less staff covers more patients
30% of Ohio’s nursing homes have been fined over $6 MILLION in the last 3 years
4 of every 5 facilities in Ohio are privately operated for-profit, which typically translates to low ratings
You have the right to safe and medically sound care. Nursing home or skilled care facilities must document and report falls, injuries and concerns directly to the resident’s designated point of contact. If nursing home negligence resulted in injury or death, the negligent individuals and the care facility can be held legally responsible.
If you suspect an injury was caused by nursing home negligence, call me as soon as possible to discuss your claim free of charge.