For residents in nursing homes, total dependency on staff is common. The more compromised your loved one’s mental abilities or mobility becomes, the greater their need for daily support.
When staff members intentionally neglect someone or simply don’t have enough hands to meet all of the obligations they have for residents, that neglect could eventually prove deadly. Surviving family members who suspect neglect in the nursing home lead to the death of their loved one should carefully review records and explore if they have the right to bring a claim against the facility.
Neglect could lead to dehydration or malnutrition
Some people aren’t capable of feeding themselves as they grow older. Others can manage that part but may not remember that they need to eat or may not notice sensations of hunger or thirst. They could also be dependent on staff assistance to get out of bed, meaning that even if they experienced profound thirst, they can’t go to the bathroom to get themselves a drink.
When staff members neglect residents, they may not receive enough fluids or food to stay healthy. While these may not be the primary cause of death, malnutrition and dehydration can exacerbate secondary conditions, such as acquired illnesses or infections, by reducing the body’s ability to heal. They could also suffer a fall if they try to move by themselves.
Neglect could lead to a failure to notice medical issues
Regular inspections of and interactions with nursing home residents help staff members detect warning signs of medical issues ranging from bedsores to pest infestation. When staff members don’t pay attention to residents and their complaints or when they notice the issues but fail to take action, situations can quickly spiral out of control.
For example, the easily treatable infestation known as scabies has claimed the lives of nursing home residents before when staff members have failed to prevent their spread or have failed to provide adequate care for someone dealing with a severe infestation.
For those whose loved ones died of treatable conditions that progressed to an extreme place due to negligence, a claim against the nursing home may benefit not just the grieving family members but other residents who could also be subject to similar forms of neglect.