When you trust the care of your loved one to a nursing home, you expect they’ll receive the same level of care that you would give them. Plenty of other people think the same way. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 1.3 million residents in United States nursing homes.
Even though amazing care is expected, that’s not always what is enacted in these facilities. There are high rates of neglect in long term care facilities, according to The United States Department of Justice. Even still, neglect is underreported in elder care. Nursing home abuse and neglect can be hard to spot, but unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence, even in Lexington.
Nursing Home Staffing
Senior citizens in nursing homes usually still want to lead a life that is as independent as possible. It’s normal for staff to leave residents alone from time to time, especially if they are able to move about on their own. But even when the most mobile elder is left alone for too long, problems arise. Many elders are neglected as a result of understaffing, which afflicts 70% of skilled nursing facilities, as reported by a PBS article.
Elders have a higher standard of basic care than younger patients, so low staffing keeps them from receiving the high-level attention that they need. A study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that when there are more Registered Nurses (RN), licensed staff spent an average of 15 more minutes with patients, which allowed them to provide better care by identifying and meeting more patient needs.
A rise in Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) had a similar effect, but not quite as impactful as the more highly trained staff, like an RN. This study showed that nursing homes thrive when there is an increase in all levels of trained staff, not just highly trained. As staff levels decrease, less time is able to be spent with patients, leaving senior citizens unmonitored more frequently and for longer time periods.
Signs of Neglect
When nursing homes are understaffed, there is a slippery slope from lack of time to neglect. Even though a facility might not have adequate staff, they still need to provide the basic care needed. If they fail to do that, then the lack of treatment could fall under abuse. Neglect can be hard to spot, though, because its means of abuse are passive.
If you notice that your loved one in a long-term care facility isn’t being properly cared for, then they might be experiencing neglect, which is a form of abuse. The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General made a list of what to look for if your loved one is in a nursing home and you suspect they aren’t being properly monitored, and some of those signs are:
- Poor hygiene
- Bed sores
- Weight loss and dehydration
- Unmet medical needs
When you’ve trusted a Lexington nursing home with the care of your loved one, and they didn’t treat them properly, it can be especially hard to deal with. Of course, your first step should be speaking with the facility about the wrongful actions, and then the police if the situation is not fixed. But after that, who do you go to? Golden Law Office’s nursing home abuse attorneys are here for you to get the justice that your loved one is entitled to. Nobody deserves to suffer from abuse and neglect. Contact us today for a free consultation.