Inadequately Staffed Nursing Homes Lead to Abuse and NeglectNewark, NJ-Health is a major concern for all people, but for the elderly one health issue can lead to a serious illness and in the worst case can hasten their death. When a family puts their beloved senior in a nursing home they do so to ensure they are taken care of and can maintain their health. But neglect is often an issue in nursing homes and the residents can suffer from a decline in their health.

One of the most common and dangerous signs of nursing home neglect are bedsores, which left untreated can cause serious infections which require hospitalization and can eventually prove to be fatal. Bedsores are not only a detriment to a senior’s health, but us also very painful. In extreme cases, skin and muscle is eaten away as the tissue begins to rot and patients are left with large holes in their flesh and exposed bones.

Pressure ulcers or bedsores are caused when a patient who has little or no mobility lies in one position from too long. The sore develop after prolonged weight and pressure is constantly applied to an area of the body. Bony areas such as the hips, ribs and legs are especially prone to bedsores.

Immobile residents rely on nursing home staff to move then and thereby prevent the growth and decay of bedsores. But some long term care facilities do not have enough staff to regularly move patients and prevent bedsores.

Another issue at long-term care facilities that diminishes the health of a resident is lackluster dental care. While some staff can be diligent about bathing or changing a resident’s diapers or turning them on a regular basis so bedsores won’t develop, they often neglect their teeth. Residents are often plagued with broken teeth, gum disease and cavities because their teeth are not brushed regularly.

Some residents don’t want someone else brushing their teeth and are capable of doing themselves, but patients who suffer from dementia are aware or able to take care of their own teeth.  These individuals are not able to care for themselves and rely on nursing home staff for such basic needs. But they can be combative and many members of nursing home staff do not have the training to properly care for dementia patients.

A lack of adequate oral care can is painful but it can also be directly linked to pneumonia, which is one of the leading causes of death in long-term care facilities. According to the New York Times, researchers in tied oral bacteria to pneumonia and numerous cases could be eliminated by simply providing oral care.

Neglect of a patient’s needs is often the result of inadequate staffing or poorly trained aides. While it is preventable, some, but not all, facilities put their bottom lines above their patients. When this is the case, the neglected resident and their families may have solid grounds to file a lawsuit with the assistance of a nursing home abuse attorney and recover the any of the unnecessary medical cost they incur as a result.