Free consultation (800) 362-7427

Identifying Nursing Home Neglect

Posted on March 14, 2024 in Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home neglect refers to the unlawful failure of a care facility to meet the needs of its residents. It is a form of elder abuse that can have serious consequences on the life, health and well-being of the victim. It is important for family members to recognize the potential signs of nursing home neglect to take action sooner rather than later – before it is too late.

Examples of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes in California have a legal obligation to fulfill the needs of their elderly residents. They must take steps to ensure the physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of the people in their care. Falling short of this duty of care is referred to as negligence. In severe cases, negligence can escalate into gross negligence, recklessness, misconduct or criminal activity.

Examples of nursing home neglect include: 

  • Failing to adequately supervise or monitor residents, leading to elopement.
  • Leaving residents who cannot move on their own in their rooms for hours at a time.
  • Failing to assist residents with mobility issues to move or transfer.
  • Ignoring a resident’s sanitation, hygiene and personal grooming needs.
  • Failing to keep nursing home residents properly nourished and hydrated.
  • Not calling a doctor or nurse when medical attention is needed.
  • Failing to properly administer a resident’s medications.
  • Missing the signs of bedsores, infections or other medical conditions.
  • Allowing a nursing home to fall into a state of disrepair, such as a lack of heat.
  • Ignoring complaints or concerns by residents and their family members.

Neglect can have a detrimental effect on a senior citizen’s physical and psychological health. If left undetected, neglect can lead to increased mortality rates and nursing home resident wrongful death. In some cases, neglect is accompanied by other forms of nursing home abuse, such as a perpetrator intentionally harming a vulnerable resident with physical abuse, emotional abuse or financial exploitation.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect 

If your elderly loved one is in the care of a nursing home or another type of long-term living facility in California, you can help protect him or her by checking in frequently, visiting often, and being on the lookout for signs of neglect or abuse.  

Elder neglect can have many different indicators, such as:

  • Untreated injuries or health issues
  • Constant or chronic health problems
  • Severe bedsores (stages three or four)
  • Signs of dehydration or malnutrition
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Unsanitary or dangerous living conditions
  • Property hazards or defects
  • Soiled bedding or dirty clothing
  • Unchanged adult diapers
  • Abrupt decline in physical or mental health
  • Emotional or behavioral changes
  • Isolation or withdrawal from others
  • Mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety
  • Psychological issues or signs of deep trauma

 If you notice red flags that could point to neglect when you visit your elderly loved one, ask the nursing home for more information. If the facility’s explanation does not match what a doctor is saying or seems suspicious, get help. Contact the nursing home neglect attorneys at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP to discuss bringing a potential lawsuit against a facility for neglecting to properly care for its residents. We offer free consultations.