What are the Causes and Concerns for Nursing Home Malpractice

It’s a sad fact that many elderly citizens face neglect or abuse at the hands of staff and workers in nursing homes. As an owner, you are responsible for the behavior of the staff, and the safety and well being of the residents. The list of potential causes and signs of abuse or neglect is a long one and includes:

• Bad hygiene
• Bedsores
• Dehydration and malnutrition
• Injuries with restraint marks
• Unexplained fractures, and
• Signs of physical abuse

Nursing home malpractice is often the result of physical, mental and sexual abuse, where the primary caregiver, usually a nurse or attendant, left alone with their victim, subjects them to deliberate harm, in both sexual and non-sexual ways, which may include inappropriate sexual contact, beatings, starvation and abandonment.

Evidence of assault includes bruises, blisters, bruising around genitalia and other unexplained marks which might appear all over the person’s body. Other obvious signs of neglect include unsanitary conditions of bathing areas and toilets.

Because nursing home residents are, on average, older and in poorer health than seniors who live on their own, they are easy prey. However well run and effective a nursing home is, if it is poorly staffed, or staffed with the wrong type of people, problems will eventually surface. It’s imperative for nursing home staff members to be attentive at all times, especially to patients who suffer from physical disabilities and cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

While attendants may be required to sedate the seniors, any sedation that exceeds the requirement is also indicative of nursing home neglect, and specific instances of nursing home malpractice, which includes; a careless diagnosis, substandard medical attention, any abuse leading to physical injury, emotional trauma and even death, could likely result in litigation against the staff and the owners.

Nursing home malpractice insurance along with Sexual Abuse coverage is a available to respond in the event of allegations of neglect or abuse. An experienced insurer that specializes in nursing homes can secure the appropriate policy for your operation.

photo credit: JSmith Photo cc

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