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Why nursing home neglect should concern you as much as abuse

| Feb 27, 2020 | Long-term Care Facility Neglect

There is a reason the courts often lump “abuse” and “neglect” into the same categories. Though neglect may not be as violent as direct abuse, the consequences are often just as dangerous. When neglect involves an elderly loved one who lives in a California nursing home, it may result in the worsening of a condition or the development of a new one. Sadly, in many cases, nursing home neglect can be fatal. 

According to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, 15.3% of nursing home complaints cite neglect. Nursing home neglect refers to the nursing homes staff’s inability or failure to meet an elder person’s most basic needs. Sometimes the neglect is intentional, while other times it is the result of lack of resources, inadequate staffing or lack of training. Regardless of the reason, neglect is always unacceptable. 

Neglect can have drastic consequences on an elder’s physical and mental health. In terms of hygiene, neglect can result in unclean clothes, poor odor, ill-fitting, missing or damaged clothing and/or dirty skin or orifices. 

If not caught and stopped in time, neglect can eventually have long-term health consequences. Elders who are victims of nursing home neglect may develop dental or medical issues, anemia, dehydration and fatigue. They may also sustain repetitive injuries, develop recurring sicknesses, lose excess amounts of weight and become malnourished. Neglect often entails nursing home staff failing to administer proper medications to residents. 

Neglect has emotional and social consequences as well. If your loved one is the victim of neglect, he or she may exhibit personality changes, anxiety, fear or depression. He or she may complain of insomnia or lack of sleep, or of feelings of loneliness and isolation. Seniors who are subjects of neglect also lose trust in others and routinely forget to pay bills and other debts. Many develop alcohol or substance abuse problems and express suicidal thoughts. In the most extreme cases of nursing home neglect, death is the outcome.