The Differences between Nursing Home Neglect and Nursing Home Abuse in Queens

Nursing home neglect is the most frequently reported and common type of elder abuse in nursing homes. Although the result of abuse and neglect can be catastrophic, there are definitive differences between the two.

Nursing home abuse is defined as an intentional act where the staff member intends to cause harm to the resident. Nursing home neglect is defined as sub-standard care, including a breach of duty, that causes harm to the resident. The kind and severity of neglect is different in every case, but there are four basic kinds of neglect that can occur in a nursing home facility. They are:

  • Medical neglect: This occurs when a nursing home fails to adequately attend to a medical condition or prevent a medical issue from occurring. An example may be staff that is not providing specialized care for bedsores, diabetes, infections, mobility issues, cuts and cognitive disabilities.
  • Neglect of basic needs: This refers to a facility that does not provide nutritious food and water in sufficient amount, or does not provide a clean and safe environment for the resident.
  • Neglect of personal hygiene: If a resident needs, but is not receiving assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing, brushing their teeth and access to clean laundry.
  • Social or emotional neglect: This occurs if staff ignores the resident, isolates the resident, or yells and screams out of frustration at a resident.

It may be difficult to recognize when neglect is happening as there may not be physical evidence and the warning signs can be subtle and confusing. Additionally, any behavioral changes in the resident may only be obvious to those who visit them at the nursing home and if they do not receive many visitors, the changes may go unnoticed. There are some signs to look for if you suspect that your loved one is being neglected. These signs include bedsores, dehydration, rapid and severe weight loss, infections and malnutrition, abnormal behavioral changes such as social withdrawal, changes in appearance and personal hygiene, the sudden appearance of bruises or lacerations and environmental hazards such as wet or slippery floors, low lighting, broken wheelchairs, walkers, beds and other unsafe furniture.

A nursing home resident in a sub-standard nursing home facility in Queens is at much greater risk for injuries, infections and death. It is important to report this to the authorities as it can make a difference between life and death. If you suspect that your loved one has been neglected in their nursing home, call the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY. We treat every client as if they are part of the family, and we will fight for you and remain by your side during the entire legal process. Call 877-504-5562 or email [email protected]. Don’t wait to get the justice and compensation your loved one deserves.

Source: CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. (2016). Elder Abuse Surveillance