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What is Considered Nursing Home Negligence?

In the last year, 95% of nursing home residents complained of neglect while staying in a nursing home. Although it is sometimes complicated to prove negligence in all these cases, this statistic does leave open the need to be in touch with a nursing home neglect lawyer at our law firm if there is suspicion of negligence. Any nursing home facility, elder facility, or convalescent home can be sued if there is a lapse of care for the patient that leads to patient harm.

Caring for the elderly in a nursing home environment is a very demanding and challenging job. Negligence can occur when an accident happens; an employee is lax in their duties or purposely imposes harm on a patient or fails to act appropriately in a crisis. The facility itself can also be found negligent if there are not practices and policies in place to ensure the health and safety of the patients and residents.

Types of Negligence

Negligence when caring for the elderly in a nursing home setting can be divided into four general types. They are medical neglect, neglect of basic needs, neglect of personal hygiene, and social or emotional neglect. Several warning signs accompany these categories and if recognized will be used as evidence of neglect and poor treatment. If you are concerned about instances of maltreatment these should be documented to be used by the medical malpractice attorney at our law firm in a claim for compensation.

1. Medical Neglect

People placed in a nursing home are usually elderly and most often require a regimen of the administration of medicines and other medical care. Negligence in this area can occur with patients when the nursing staff does not adhere to the regular time the patient should receive their medications, or the dosage is inaccurate.

The patient may also be bed-ridden, and if they are not turned regularly according to a schedule, they may develop bed sores or infections. Some of the more complex conditions like diabetes care, cognitive disorders, and immobility issues require extreme diligence on the part of the care provider, and mistakes or lapses in care can become larger problems. Malnutrition, loss of weight, or frequent infections are cause for alarm.

2. Neglect of Basic Needs

One of the basic needs that the residents of nursing homes have is that the facility be kept clean and in good order. Clean bedding, sanitary dining areas, and bathrooms are required by state and federal guidelines and standards.

Shortage and constant turnover of staffing can lead to problems with maintaining a safe and sanitary living area. In negligence suits staffing turnover can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

3. Personal Hygiene

Nursing home residents often have difficulty caring for themselves in some of the most basic ways. Bathing, keeping their nails clipped, dressing for the day, and taking care of their teeth with regular dental care. It is usually very noticeable when the aspects of personal hygiene are neglected. When a patient lacks the care to maintain their personal integrity by looking and feeling well, it could be a reason to look at the quality of care and the training provided the staff members in the facility.

4. Emotional Neglect

One of the most common events leading to negligence is to have an overworked and insensitive staff member yelling at an elderly person who is not responding to direction or assistance. Anytime a resident is withdrawn socially or feels fear and intimidation from staff is the time to consider a negligence claim.

Final Word

Negligence claims in a nursing home can be hard to prove because of some of the subtle ways the elderly can be neglected in that setting. However, the keen observer can usually detect patterns of behavior that can lead to a malpractice lawsuit.

At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we have the knowledge and experience to investigate these instances, and we will protect your loved ones in nursing home care. Contact us at or call 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Tristan is a professional writer and had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher’s union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.




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