Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home negligence occurs when a resident is abused or neglected in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this neglect or abuse can result in significant injuries including death. Because the nursing home industry has become a multi-billion dollar business comprised of major corporations, efficiency and profitability have often become more important than administering proper care. For this reason, both federal and state governments have introduced legislation to protect residents of nursing homes.
The Warning Signs
The are many indicators of neglect including: rapid weight loss, bed/pressure sores, multiple falls, poor hygiene. If more than one of these conditions exit, then it may indicate an overall staff inattention and should be immediately addressed. If you suspect neglect contact our staff to review your concerns.
Bed sores are sometimes called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers. A decubitus ulcer is a pressure sore or what is commonly called a bed sore or pressure ulcer. It can range from a very mild pink coloration of the skin, which disappears in a few hours after pressure is relieved on the area, to a very deep wound extending to and sometimes through internal organs and into bone. These ulcers or wounds are classified according to the severity of the wound, usually in four stages or types.
Maine Nursing Home Abuse Attorney David Wood, through the opinions of the medical community, believes these sores are caused by prolonged pressure in patients permitted to lie too still for a long period of time. The bony prominences of the body are the most frequently affected sites. The ulcer is caused by diminished blood supply to the underlying structures of the skin, fat, and muscles as a result of the sustained and constant pressure.
Bed sores are very common in nursing homes but this does not mean bed sores are acceptable. Bed sores can be prevented by changing a person’s position frequently and regularly and by insuring they have adequate nutrition. Using a moisturizer also helps prevent bed sores.
Families of nursing home residents should ask questions when they see bruises on a loved one’s body. Bruises – actually pools of blood from broken capillaries – heal slowly in people with poor circulation. Bruises often occur when a nursing home resident is struck by a member of the nursing home staff or when the resident falls. Any bruise or cut requires both medical attention and evaluation to determine its cause.
The most common complaint about nursing homes, as reported to state and federal agencies, is that the homes fail to respond to complaints. Your loved one is in a nursing home because she needs care and supervision she can’t get elsewhere. If the staff is too overworked to respond to the call button, then problems will multiply.
Maine Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer David Wood believes when the staff can’t respond then mistakes happen. Pills are given too often or not at all. Patient hygiene suffers. Signs of serious illness are overlooked.
Many people need the care of a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. People with these conditions often wander. Nursing home facilities must be held accountable when individuals wander. Staff inattention is to blame, not the patient.
Nursing home residents who are visited often tend to get better care. If you can’t visit, try to call and talk to the people who take care of your loved one. Make friends with other residents and ask them to look out for your loved one.
Maine Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer David Wood believes nutritional well-being is an important part of successful aging. Improper nutrition or malnutrition can lead to infections, confusion, and muscle weakness resulting in immobility and falls, pressure ulcers, pneumonia, and decreased immunity to bacteria and viruses. Malnutrition is costly, lowers the quality of nursing home residents’ lives, and is often avoidable.
Based on the nutritional assessment, the facility must take steps to ensure that the resident maintains good nutritional health and must provide residents with a well-balanced, palatable meal.
Many things can cause malnutrition in nursing home residents. The following are factors that may prevent a resident from receiving adequate amounts of the vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories the resident needs:
- Physical Causes
- Adverse drug effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cognitive disturbances, or sleepiness
- Food and drug interactions which decrease the ability of the body to absorb vitamins and minerals
- Swallowing disorders
- Mouth problems such as tooth loss, dentures that do not fit properly, mouth sores, and mouth pain
- Tremors, which affect the residents’ ability to feed themselves
- Environmental Causes
- Inadequate attention from staff for residents who need assistance eating
- Staff who are uneducated about malnutrition and proper ways to feed residents who need help
- Reliance on liquid supplements
- Special diets
- Signs of Malnutrition
Ask the following questions to determine whether your loved one is demonstrating signs of malnutrition:
- Cracks around the mouth
- Lips and mouth look pale
- Dentures no longer fit
- Wounds seem to take longer to heal
- Appears confused
- Skin breaking down
- Eyes look sunken
- Losing weight