The decision to enter a Kentucky nursing home, or to place a loved one in such a facility, isn’t always an easy one to make. Most people do so because they believe that they, or their family members, will benefit from full-time, professional caregiving. Unfortunately, not everyone has a positive experience in these facilities. Nursing home neglect is a real problem that can negatively impact a resident’s well-being.
What is nursing home neglect?
Abuse in nursing homes can take many forms. In some cases, it involves physical battery, sexual assault or verbal abuse. In other cases, the problem is neglect, when staff fails to ensure that the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of their residents are met.
Examples of neglect in a nursing home include:
- Failure to monitor and document the resident’s condition
- Failure to provide medications as described
- Not keeping residents clean and groomed
- Failing to provide prescribed therapies
- Not providing social or intellectual activities to residents
- Not acknowledging requests from residents or their family members
- Failing to provide adequate housekeeping services
- Failing to provide an appropriate diet or assistance with eating
- Failing to protect residents from abuse by staff or fellow residents
Over time, neglect can severely harm nursing home residents.
Symptoms and impact of nursing home neglect
Symptoms of nursing home neglect can be hard to spot, particularly in their initial stages. Residents may have difficulty understanding that they are being neglected or might be afraid to report neglect because they fear that the situation will escalate.
Family members and friends should look out for the following:
- Poor hygiene and grooming
- Personality changes
- Appearing fearful of talking if staff members are around
- Odors of urine and body waste
- Unexplained injuries
- Rapid weight changes
Indications of nursing home neglect should be raised with the home’s administration. In addition, it is also important to notify the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services as well as the Department for Aging and Independent Living about the situation.