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Harm that may result from neglect in nursing homes

| Jun 9, 2020 | Elder Abuse

When your parent loses mobility or spends the majority of the time in bed or a wheelchair, extra care is necessary to prevent harm. Unfortunately, many nursing homes lack adequate staffing or fail to train their staff members properly, which may cause residents to fall victim to neglect.

Caregivers in nursing homes must provide food, clothing, shelter, medicine and other necessary health care services to prevent your parent from suffering physical harm or mental or emotional anguish. If a caregiver fails to provide appropriate care, the behavior may constitute neglect, which may lead to the following problems.

Bedsores

Staff members have a duty to move or shift immobile residents periodically to prevent the formation of bedsores. When this does not occur, the pressure can block blood flow to the area and damage the skin. The resulting sores may in turn lead to life-threatening complications.

Falls

Falls are another common result of nursing home neglect. If your parent lacks mobility, he or she may need help getting out of bed to use the bathroom. If nursing home staff does not provide assistance when residents request it, they may attempt to move about on their own, which often leads to falls.

Falls may also result from nursing home staff relying on one employee to move a patient, rather than two. This is more likely to occur in settings where understaffing is prevalent.

Malnutrition

Nursing home residents should receive a well-balanced diet that not only meets the specific nutritional needs for their health conditions but also takes into account their personal preferences. For example, if your parent has diabetes, he or she would require different foods than a resident who has trouble gaining weight. Some foods also counteract certain medications.

In addition to unhealthy weight loss or weight gain, malnutrition symptoms may include mental decline, confusion weakness, fatigue, tooth decay and bleeding gums.