It is difficult to determine if residents receive proper monitoring in a nursing home. To figure out how often elderly people in nursing homes are undermonitored, it is important to understand not only the staffing levels of the nursing home but the standard daily protocols of a nursing home. As reported by Health Services Insights, understaffing is an ongoing concern and can contribute to a lack of sufficient monitoring.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes must follow certain federal standards for care. Additionally, nursing home facilities should have established protocols for residents regarding monitoring and supervision to ensure the absence of any neglect. States can also implement their own policies and laws regarding nursing homes.
Ultimately, elderly residents have a legal right to receive proper care and supervision. The failure to provide these as a result of undermonitoring is not only against federal and state regulations but can lead to serious injuries or death.
Undermonitoring Is Elder Neglect
Elder neglect due to undermonitoring can unintentionally occur in nursing homes because of understaffing, overworked employees, or an oversight. In other cases, undermonitoring can result from intentional neglect, such as nursing home staff not changing a resident’s diapers, or the failure to reposition bedridden residents to prevent pressure sores (bedsores).
Elder neglect essentially is failing to provide nursing home residents with essential care, including food, water, hygiene, medicine, personal safety, shelter, comfort, and the care needed to prevent injuries or death. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) defines elder neglect to include the failure or refusal of any person to fulfill the required obligations or duties to an elderly person, which would include undermonitoring.
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Signs and Symptoms of Undermonitoring in a Nursing Home
While many elderly nursing home residents develop infections, illnesses, and diseases due to their frailty and physical vulnerabilities, in many cases, serious injuries occur because of undermonitoring. Signs and symptoms of insufficient monitoring include:
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Pressure sores (bedsores)
- Overgrown toenails or overall unkempt appearance
- Dirty clothing or sheets
- Poor oral or body hygiene
- Infections with no known cause
- Illnesses with no known cause
- Broken or fractured bones (from falling due to a lack of assistance)
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of abuse or neglect as a resident of a nursing home, you have the legal right to pursue justice and to attempt to receive compensation on behalf of your loved one for their injuries or losses.
Results of Undermonitoring of Elderly People in Nursing Homes
While undermonitoring may result from understaffed/overworked employees, or due to direct and intentional neglect, the results can include serious or catastrophic injuries, including death. Undermonitoring can contribute to many dangerous scenarios or issues for residents, such as:
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Improper medication distribution or scheduling
- Slip and fall accidents, as elderly residents attempt to get up from their beds or wheelchairs independently to obtain food, water, or go to the bathroom on their own
- Pressure sores (bedsores) resulting from the failure to reposition elderly residents in beds or wheelchairs
- Pressure sores or infections, especially if staff fail to clean any wet or soiled diapers in elderly residents
- Choking on food, especially for elderly residents with dysphagia or other difficulties swallowing
- Falls and slips, as elderly residents walking throughout the nursing home without assistance may lead to dangerous or hazardous conditions throughout the facility
- Infections or illnesses due to the failure to monitor elderly residents regarding any medical conditions that begin to develop which can ultimately turn into sepsis or another life-threatening illness or infection
While this is not a complete list, if you notice your elderly loved one suffers from any of these types of conditions, you may want to visit with the nursing home staff management to determine if the nursing home is not providing the proper supervision of its nursing home residents.
Learn How an Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help You
While every situation of elder neglect appears differently, serious accidents, injuries, and deaths can occur when elderly people in nursing homes are undermonitored.
Many families make the challenging decision to place their senior family member in a nursing home so that the person will receive proper care and monitoring to ensure their health and safety.
If you think a nursing home’s undermonitoring led to your elderly loved one’s injuries or losses, call (800) 959-1444 to learn how an elder abuse lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you understand and protect your loved one’s legal rights.