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What are some types of nursing home abuse and neglect?

When a person in Lexington needs more care than their family can provide, sometimes a nursing home is the type of facility that is best equipped to meet their needs. People put a lot of trust in the nursing home staff, expecting that their loved one will be well taken care of. Unfortunately, incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect do occur.

One sign of neglect is that the resident's personal hygiene is not taken care of. People in nursing homes may need help bathing, brushing their hair and teeth and putting on their clothes. However, sometimes nursing homes are short-staffed or staff members are uneducated, which leads to poor care of the residents' personal hygiene.

Also, nursing homes are expected to keep their facilities sanitary. There must be an "infection control program" under federal law, and states may also may have their own sanitation requirements. If a resident is wearing dirty clothes or has dirty sheets and blankets, or if the bathrooms or kitchens are dirty, residents could fall ill.

Nursing homes are also tasked with making sure residents receive proper nutrition. The failure to do so could lead to malnutrition or dehydration. Sometimes inadequate staffing leads to this type of neglect, although sometimes it is deliberate.

Nursing homes should also help residents stay as active as they reasonably can. It is important for residents to retain muscle tone, keep good circulation and maintain the ability to keep their balance. If a nursing home resident is left to lie in bed all the time, they could lose their mobility as well as suffer other maladies, such as bedsores.

Sometimes neglect occurs in the form of unexplained injuries. Falls can occur when residents are not receiving the assistance they need to perform basic tasks. Nursing homes can prevent falls through medication, installing grab bars and ensuring workers are trained in assisting residents.

Finally, a person who has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can have psychological issues. They may be afraid, resentful, angry or withdrawn. They may eventually even become depressed.

In the end, if a person's loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to hold the appropriate parties responsible. Speaking with an attorney may be the first step in obtaining more information about one's rights.

Source: nextavenue.org, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, Feb. 18, 2016

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