Types of Nursing Home Neglect

Currently, there are many different types of nursing home neglect that occur in the United States. Neglect means the failure of a caretaker to provide goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness. Types of nursing home neglect occurring to a patient is harder to identify than abuse because it usually involves features of natural processes that plague the elderly (skin lesions, infection, respiratory disorders, dehydration, nutritional problems). It can be particularly hard to identify what is a natural result of aging and what is occurring due to the neglectful nursing home environment.

In addition, self-abuse or neglect, where senior themselves is abusive or neglectful conduct to themselves can threaten their health is one of the important types of nursing home neglect. Dementia or Alzheimers residents find themselves in this situation because they forget to eat, bathe, sleep, etc. Neglect will occur when the caregiver is not meeting the needs of the elderly person, which put them at risk for health problems. These types of nursing home neglect cases involve the caretaker not providing appropriate care.

Neglect of the nursing home resident is frequently the result of under staffing, indifference of the staff member, or lack of training and education. It often is the result of poor supervision of the staff member.

Types of Nursing Home Neglect

  • Failure to property acquire and maintain the resident’s medical and mental health records
  • Failure to provide the resident with a safe, secure, and sanitary facility environment
  • Failure to properly monitor and supervise the resident
  • Failure to prevent the deterioration of a resident’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, transfer and ambulate, toilet, eat, and to use speech, language or other functional communication systems
  • Failure to provide the resident with necessary services to maintain good nutrition and personal and oral hygiene
  • Failure to provide the resident with necessary medical and mental health care and treatment
  • Failure to provide the resident with necessary medications
  • Failure to provide the resident with necessary emergency and hospital care services
  • Failure to provide the resident with necessary assistance devices or equipment (e.g., wheelchair, walker)
  • Failure to provide the resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health
  • Failure to care for a resident in a manner and in an environment that promotes maintenance or enhancement of the resident’s quality of life and dignity
  • Failure to ensure that the resident has the right to choose activities, schedules, and health care consistent with his or her interests, assessments, and plan of care
  • Failure to ensure that the medical and mental health care of a resident is supervised and attended to by an appropriately qualified physician
  • Failure to provide pharmaceutical services to meet the medical and mental health care needs of the resident
  • Failure to provide necessary safety and security measures to prevent resident elopement

Specific Types of Nursing Home Neglect:

  • Failure to correctly move and position the resident to avoid contractures or pressure sores
  • Failure to assist the resident to eat, bathe, dress, or keep clean after incontinence
  • Failure to help the resident walk
  • Failure to assist the resident to eat or drink, or failure to provide water within reach
  • Failure to maintain proper hand-washing, leading to infections in the resident
  • Failure to provide activities of interest to the resident
  • Failure to respond to call bells or cries for help
  • Failure to obtain medical attention when the resident is in need
  • Failure to monitor blood sugars in a diabetic patient
  • Failure to treat low blood sugars and oxygen saturation levels coupled with a delay in calling ambulance
  • Withholding anticonvulsants
  • Failure to detect and treat respiratory distress
  • Failure to medicate and monitor cardiac arrythmias
  • Failure to diagnose and treat a heart attack
  • Failure to provide resuscitation during a cardiac arrest
  • Delay in treating a gastric ulcer
  • Failure to monitor bowel movements with a delay in diagnosis of impaction
  • Failure to notify physician of elevated clotting levels
  • Failure to take a patient in respiratory distress to the hospital
  • Failure to prevent, diagnose, or properly treat pressure sores, or bed ulcers or sores

Recruiting, training and professional nursing staff are among the most important things to ensure  nursing home patients continue to receive quality skilled nursing care and prevent many types of nursing home neglect. Whether intentional or not, failure to provide the care and treatment necessary to maintain the welfare of those who depend on such treatment or care, can be as dangerous and harmful as intentional assaultive behavior. Please be vigilant about monitoring these types of nursing home neglect.