The Top 10 Complaints of Abuse and Neglect from Kentucky Nursing Home Residents

Residents of Kentucky nursing homes are often victims of abuse and neglect. There are many different types of problems ranging from the staff being slow to answer a call light to outright physical and mental abuse by the staff. After several decades suing Kentucky nursing homes for abuse and neglect, these are the top complaints our nursing home abuse attorneys hear from residents and their families regarding poor care.

1. Falls

Nursing home residents are often at high risk of falling and injuring themselves. There are several reasons for this including but not limited to: difficult with balance and walking due to age, effects of medication, recent injuries for which they are rehabbing in the nursing home. Regardless of the reason, any resident that is a high falls risk should be carefully monitored. In addition, their needs should be anticipated and met within a reasonable time.

When a resident in a nursing home does fall, the consequences are often dire due to their already frail physical condition. Many residents in nursing homes will experience a rapid decline in health following a fall. In some cases, falls often lead to death. With proper care, falls are almost always preventable.

2. Waiting too Long for Somone to Answer a Call Light or Bell

Nothing makes a resident feel less independent and irritated than waiting and waiting for staff to answer a call light or bell. Failure of the staff to respond to a resident’s request for help is almost always due to a nursing home being understaffed. While it may seem like a minor annoyance, unanswered calls for help by nursing home residents can lead to devastating consequences.

Many residents in nursing homes are unable to help themselves safely and when the staff doesn’t respond to their calls for help, the resident may take it upon themselves to try and help themselves. This can lead dangerous situations such as residents attempting to get out of bed or a chair to use the restroom and falling. Failure of the staff to respond can also lead to residents going without food or water and becoming malnourished and dehydrated. We have handled cases where the failure of the nursing home staff to respond to a call for help caused a resident to lie in their own feces for hours. Sadly, this resident developed skin breakdown as a result and developed an infection which leads to their untimely death.

3. Bad Food Service

Again, while it might seem like a fairly harmless issue, bad food can lead to bad consequences. Residents in nursing homes often rely on the staff to ensure that there are taking in enough nutrition. When the food is bad, many residents either refuse to eat or refuse to eat enough. In addition, sloppy food service with inconsistent feeding times and staff that doesn’t properly encourage eating can have the same results. Nursing homes must have quality edible food, consistent meal times and a staff that is trained and willing to take the necessary time to ensure their residents are taking in enough nutrition.

4. Too Noisy at Night

Sleep is critical to the well being of nursing home residents. Many residents and the elderly in particular struggle with consistent sleep. Too little sleep can lead to weakened immune systems, cardiovascular strain and deteriorating mental conditions. If a nurse home is too loud at night, or if the staff is constantly and needlessly disturbing residents during their time to sleep, problems can and will develop. Sleep time is important and should be treated as such.

5. Isolation and Loneliness

Isolation and loneliness: People need people. Residents in nursing homes are no different. Many studies (and common sense) show that nursing home residents who are able to socialize do far better than residents who are isolated and alone. For this reason, it is imperative that nursing home staff ensure that residents are encouraged to socialize with other residents and the staff.

This is often a time consuming and difficult process but one that is critical to the well fair and quality of life of any resident in a nursing home. Nursing homes with too little staff are often unable to meet these needs. The result is an existence of isolation and loneliness for some residents that need help maintaining a social life once they are living in the home.

6. Bed Sores

There is hardly a resident or a family member of a resident that doesn’t worry about their loved one developing a bedsore (pressure ulcer) in a nursing home. Once a bedsore develops, things can quickly go downhill for a resident. Bedsores are very difficult to control once they reach a certain stage. For this reason, nursing home staff must be vigilant in monitoring and preventing any type of skin breakdown in their residents. Bedsores and skin tears are almost always preventable. A nursing home with adequate staff should have no problem in bedsore prevention.

7. Wrong Medication

Many residents are victims of receiving the wrong medication in nursing homes. This is in large part due to the high number of residents and the low number of staff. In addition, many residents are unable to communicate what their medication is and therefore they cannot act as a safeguard against receiving the wrong medication. Nursing homes must be extremely careful to monitor residents medications and ensure they receive the correct dosage and drug.

8. Dehydration

Nursing home residents often require constant encouragement to take in fluids. This can be a time-consuming issue for the staff but one that is critically important. Dehydration can happen quickly. It can lead to kidney damage, cardiovascular injury and even death. Nursing home staff must monitor fluid intakes carefully and encourage residents to take in necessary fluids.

9. Contractures

Contractures are a horrible thing to occur to any nursing home resident. They are painful and sometimes irreversible. They are almost always the result of the nursing home staff not taking the time to properly care for the resident and provide the necessary hands-on physical therapy required to prevent contractures. Staff must watch closely for any signs of contractures and work continuously to prevent them from occurring.

10. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Any type of infection in an elderly nursing home resident is a cause for great concern. Most residents are frail and have weakened immune systems. Urinary Tract Infections, as well as other types of infections, can lead to a rapid decline in a residents physical and mental health. Left untreated, UTI’s can lead to sepsis and even death. Nursing home staff must constantly work to prevent UTI’s by ensuring catheters are regularly changed and cleaned. UTI’s are preventable and easily treated if caught early. It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure the resident remains UTI free.

If Your Loved One Is Suffering Neglect or Abuse in a Kentucky Nursing Home, Our Attorneys Are Here to Help

Abuse and neglect are problems that are far too common in nursing homes and senior care facilities throughout Kentucky. If you're concerned that your family member or loved one is suffering unnecessarily due to the negligence of their facility, we urge you to contact us. Our nursing home abuse attorneys have decades of experience holding these care facilities responsible for their actions, and we may be able to help you too. Call us today at 502-210-8942 or toll-free at 888-450-4456, or complete the form on this page to request your free, no-obligation consultation.

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