Unfortunately, elder abuse is a common problem for many elderly adults. It can manifest in many forms, including abandonment. It can happen at home or in a facility. Read on to learn about abandonment in nursing homes.
What is Considered Abandonment in a Nursing Home?
Abandonment in general refers to when someone deserts another person or leaves them in a specific place. Specifically, abandonment in a nursing home occurs when a nursing home fails to give the resident the required care that they are obligated to provide.
Examples of Nursing Home Abandonment
Just as elder abuse is a broad term, so is abandonment, but there are specific examples, specific to nursing homes, including the following:
- Failing to aid patients in receiving proper medical care
- Failing to give adequate assistance for daily activities
- Failing to change soiled clothing or sheets promptly
- Failing to check on a resident regularly
- Failing to ensure that a patient receives proper nutrition
- Failing to give medication as prescribed
- Failing to help residents turn over in bed (this can lead to the development of bedsores)
- Failing to use proper bedrails or otherwise secure a patient
- Ignoring patient calls or leaving calls unattended for extended periods
- Leaving a resident who has fallen or slipped on the floor
- Not helping residents with necessary tasks, such as eating, moving, using the restroom
How to Discover Nursing Home Abandonment
Because our loved ones don’t have an alarm that will go off when they’ve been mistreated, we must rely on other means to detect when they have been abandoned. Like many other abuse victims, nursing residents who have been abandoned may either be reluctant to disclose this (due to shame or fear of retaliation) or may not even realize it. Sometimes the perpetrators don’t do this intentionally, but that doesn’t mean they are any less responsible. Try to engage with your loved one to see if there are any red flags.
If you’re concerned that your loved one may have experienced nursing home abandonment, then you can ask them detailed questions, rather than general questions about their care. For instance, instead of asking “How are you being treated?” you can ask “How many times a day does someone on staff see you?” or “Does someone help you with eating?” and “How long does it take someone to help you after you ring the help bell?”
If your loved one can’t answer your questions, try talking to their roommate, other residents, or the nursing home staff. Ask for documentation that backs up the level of care that they claim to give to your relative. If you think there’s something wrong, you can’t rely on the nursing home staff’s word alone. You should also inquire about the most recent state health inspection report.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Abandonment?
When a facility fails to properly provide for its residents by neglecting or abandoning them, they should be held accountable. If you’re concerned that your loved one is experiencing any form of abuse, compensation may be available. Talk to one of our skilled Walton Law attorneys who can advise you on these serious matters. Contact us today.