The need for medical support, ranging from assistance getting dressed and showering to the administration of injectable drugs is one of the main reasons that families move older loved ones into nursing homes. When someone’s care requirements exceed what their immediate family members can reasonably provide, a nursing home may be the safest place for that individual to live, as they will have around-the-clock support from staff members.
Given that it costs thousands of dollars each month to maintain even a shared room in a nursing home, families typically expect that their loved one will receive proper medical support in such facilities. Sadly, neglect is a serious concern in many nursing homes. Families that notice one of the three medical issues below in a loved one may have reason to worry about neglect at the facility providing their daily care.
Serious or untreated bedsores
If there is one type of injury associated with a sedentary lifestyle, it would likely be a pressure ulcer or bedsore. Remaining in the same position for extended periods of time without movement or cushioning may result in the development of painful sores. Left untreated for long enough, pressure ulcers will eventually break the skin and damage deeper tissues, leading to severe pain and sometimes infections.
Transmissible illnesses and infestations
Having a large number of people in a relatively small space is an ideal environment for many types of organisms that attack the human body. Not only do illnesses spread rapidly through nursing homes when there aren’t adequate sanitation and isolation practices utilized, but larger pests can also spread quickly and cause health issues as well. Lice, scabies and bed bugs are among the numerous infestations that can quickly develop in nursing homes. While they may only be minor inconveniences for those in perfect health, those pests could cause severe discomfort and secondary medical issues for those who are already vulnerable due to age or immune system issues.
Injuries from falls
Many older adults are at heightened risk of a fall due to how aging affects their bodies. Falls can lead to broken bones and brain injuries that can further compromise someone’s mobility and quality of life. When there aren’t enough staff members to take care of all the residents or when they don’t prioritize requests by those who are at risk of falling, people who need support and assistance may try to manage tasks on their own with very unfortunate results.
Family members who have reason to believe that negligence is the reason that their loved one ended up sick or injured may be in a position to take legal action. Holding nursing homes accountable for negligent care can both compensate the people affected and potentially lead to improved standards at the facility.