Are Our Parents Being Neglected in Kentucky Nursing Homes?

The consequence of our population continuing to live longer is that at some point, we may have to put our parents into a nursing home. People used to live in extended families; as they grew old and were unable to live independently, they lived with their children and grandchildren.

Nowadays, with more single-parent families and families in which both parents have to work, it may be unfeasible to have our parents move in with us. We look into the very best assisted living facilities or nursing homes close to where we live in Kentucky: we interview the staff; we look at the rooms to make sure they are kept clean; and we check out the residents to see if they look cared for and happy.

It’s unthinkable—horrifying—to consider that they are being neglected in any way, but it could happen.

Kentucky nursing home residents must depend on other people for most—if not all—of their wants and needs. Such a vulnerable population may be suffering of neglect, often with no one to notice and come to their aid. In what ways are they being neglected? What are the warning signs? The Nursing Home Abuse Center provides the following information:

Personal Hygiene Neglect

Many elderly or disabled people may be unable to take care of their own personal hygiene without help. Victims of nursing home neglect may not get the help they need to bathe, groom, brush their teeth, and get dressed. Their breath or body may begin to smell bad, their hair may become matted, and their clothing may not be appropriate for the temperature of their environment.

Basic Needs Neglect

Neglecting basic needs, such as food and water, may be unthinkable, but it happens: victims of nursing home neglect are increasingly becoming dehydrated and malnourished. People who are not able to get around easily must have a clean, safe environment; when nursing home staff do not provide this necessary service, it is neglect. Helpguide.org recommends that you look for unusual weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration; and unsanitary living conditions, such as dirt, bugs, and soiled bedding and clothes.

Medical Neglect

A common problem that points to neglect is the presence of pressure sores, or bedsores. If a patient is in a seated or reclined position for too long, these sores develop, and they must be treated before they become infected. The same goes for cuts that, if left untreated, can lead to systemic infection in elderly, immune-compromised patients. To the degree to which they are able, nursing home residents should be getting some exercise to remain healthy; not providing needed exercise is also abuse. Obviously, the staff should be administering the appropriate medications to each resident, some of whom need that medicine to survive. Many nursing homes by skimp on medication or do not give it at all.

Emotional Neglect

This last type of neglect is hard to identify because there are no obvious physical signs of the abuse. Overworked staff may allow their own stress to keep them from interacting in a friendly manner with the residents. Feeling lonely and already susceptible to depression, elderly people may stay in their rooms, withdrawing from social interaction altogether, at the very time they are in desperate need of emotional support and connection.

Is your mother or father in a nursing home in Kentucky? Do you believe that she or he is the victim of negligence in the nursing home? Contact the Louisville nursing home neglect lawyers at Gray and White Law right away. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law