What Is Considered Nursing Home Neglect?

What Is Considered Nursing Home Neglect

What Is Considered Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect is more common than most people think. While the vast majority of nursing home facilities provide quality care to their patients, many do not. That is why we often hear about cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. The sad truth is that we do not know the real scope of the problem because neglect is often overlooked and underreported in Canada.

Neglect in nursing homes is a pervasive problem in Hamilton, Ontario, and across Canada. Neglect often results in preventable injuries, illnesses, and deaths. If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, consider speaking with a nursing home abuse lawyer to hold the facility accountable.

Nursing Home Neglect: Definition

While nursing home neglect is not as violent as abuse, it is still very dangerous and carries significant and life-threatening risks. Neglect in nursing homes occurs when residents become victims of improper care, resulting in physical harm or even death. In most cases, nursing home neglect is the result of staff members’ failure to give each patient adequate care.

How Is Nursing Home Neglect Different from Abuse?

Many people think nursing home abuse and neglect are synonyms. While both abuse and neglect can result in harm to elderly patients, there are a few differences between these two types of actions:

  • Abuse refers to an intentional act that causes serious harm to patients. Nursing home abuse is broken down into several types, including physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse.
  • Neglect can be either intentional or unintentional. Nursing home neglect occurs when the facility’s staff members fail to fulfill their caretaking obligations and provide adequate care to each patient.

Causes of Nursing Home Neglect

There are various factors that contribute to nursing home neglect. Some of the most common causes of neglect in nursing homes include:

  • Stressed and overworked staff.   When people working at a nursing home experience significant stress or are overworked, the quality of care they provide declines.
  • Inadequate staffing.  There is a shortage of workers in nursing homes across Canada. When there are not enough people to provide care to patients, the overall quality of care that patients receive decreases.
  • Poor hiring practices.  Nursing homes must conduct thorough background checks when hiring people to work with elderly individuals.
  • Improper training.  Nursing home neglect can be the result of improper training practices.

Types of Neglect in Nursing Homes

There are four different types of nursing home neglect:

1. Medical neglect:

  • Which refers to the facility’s failure to address the medical concerns of patients in a timely manner. Conditions that are commonly ignored by workers include bedsores and infections.

2. Personal hygiene neglect:

  • Refers to the workers’ failure to help residents with personal hygiene, including bathing, changing their clothing or diapers, dental care, and others.

3. Basic needs neglect:

  • Refers to the facility’s failure to ensure that residents have adequate amounts of water and food.

4. Emotional neglect:

  • Occurs when nursing home employees leave their patients alone for too long, humiliate them, or ignore them for long periods of time.

If you noticed unexplained or sudden changes in your loved one’s appearance, health, mood, or behavior, you might want to report your concerns to the facility’s administration or contact a lawyer to investigate the possible case of neglect or abuse.

How Can a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Help?

People who hire nursing home neglect lawyers in Hamilton increase their chances of holding the facility accountable and receiving fair compensation. A nursing home neglect lawyer can assist you with the following:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation into the incidents that caused harm to your loved one;
  • Gathering sufficient evidence to support your claim against the facility
  • Communicating with witnesses, facility employees, and third parties
  • Helping you make informed decisions throughout the legal process
  • Evaluating damages to determine the adequate compensation amount
  • Representing you in court if no settlement is reached

Contact our nursing home neglect lawyers at Virk Personal Injury Law to help you understand your legal options and hold the facility accountable for causing your loved one to suffer harm.