Neglect is a type of abuse but is an act of omission as opposed to a commission. The difference being, when someone is abused by definition, something is happening to them; when they are neglected, that individual is being denied certain care.
Neglect in nursing homes can be as obvious as the staff failing to feed someone or provide their medications appropriately, but it is also sometimes more difficult to spot because it includes things like ignoring residents or placing them, for example, in a wheelchair in a room in the dark. It also includes failing to take them to the bathroom appropriately or to check on them at regular intervals.
Bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, or regression in somebody’s psychological state often are the result of neglect. People who are neglected often face a greater risk for depression and suicide.
Reasons Neglect Occurs
Either poorly trained staff members or staff members that are ill-equipped to deal with people often leads to neglect in nursing homes. Understaffing or even wrong staffing can be a huge issue for residents. The facility must have the right number of people as well as the right types of professionals inside of their environment. It also frankly happens because a lot nursing home staff cannot deal with the psychological requirements of handling elderly people, especially elderly people that are in pain or suffering from medical conditions like dementia.
The residents may act out, not because they are bad people, but because their condition may cause aggressive behavior. Sometimes the staff in these facilities are not prepared for this so instead of dealing with it, they will segregate a particular resident in order to not have to deal with them. What the staff member may not understand is that they are actually making the condition worse.
Particularly Vulnerable Adults
Particularly vulnerable residents are people that are disabled or individuals with a psychiatric or psychological issues, such as people in memory care units. Individuals that have dementia or other psychological effects that do not allow them to communicate readily or appropriately with their family members.
If your loved one is being neglected, first of all, you need to communicate with the facility staff to figure out what is going on. You may very well need to get a different facility, somewhere that can care for that individual better. If the neglect is bad enough, it may very well cause physical manifestations. In other words, if they are not feeding the resident or are giving the wrong medication, they may very well be at risk for injury or death. Please contact a lawyer for guidance and to act as your advocate throughout this emotionally tumultuous time.