When PTSD is left untreated in nursing homes, the effects on a patient can be devastating. Failure to recognize and treat PTSD can lead to suicidal thoughts, self-harm, depression, and other potentially harmful symptoms. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an extremely serious mental and emotional disorder that requires specific treatment measures.
Nursing home staff should be aware of any patients with this disorder and know how to treat it appropriately. Failure to do so could be a form of negligence that might even be grounds for legal action.
Signs of PTSD
PTSD is generally caused by a traumatic event, such as accidents, experiences in combat, cases of abuse, or other forms of trauma. Those suffering from PTSD experience a range of symptoms that can affect every aspect of daily life. Per Mayo Clinic, symptoms of PTSD include but are not limited to:
- Over-sensitivity to sudden sounds, movements, and other stimuli
- Sleeping difficulties
- Anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in personality
- Flashbacks to traumatic events
- Self-destructive behaviors and tendencies
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that between 7 and 8% of adults in the U.S. will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. While some cases of PTSD could diminish over time, others suffering from PTSD may never fully recover. If you or your loved one suffers from PTSD and is living in a nursing home, staff members may need to provide specific types of care to accommodate your mental health needs.
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Life in a Nursing Home
Nursing homes can be ideal for elderly adults who need help with everyday routines. If you are suffering from severe PTSD that affects your ability to function on a daily basis, a nursing home could be right for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 1.3 million nursing home residents and over 15.5 thousand facilities in the United States.
Nursing homes can provide specialized care for every resident. It is the unfortunate reality that not everyone living in a nursing home has a positive experience. Some residents could even suffer from forms of abuse or neglect. In turn, if you suffer from PTSD while living in a nursing home, the staff should be aware of your condition and treatment regimen.
When PTSD is left untreated in nursing homes, residents can be in danger of physical and emotional harm. PTSD can even develop while you are living in a nursing home. Even if you were healthy when you first arrived, staff members should recognize the signs and symptoms of this serious disorder and know how to react accordingly if something could be wrong.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect are very serious offenses that are punishable by law. Abuse is any intentional harm caused by one person towards another, while neglect is a broad term defined by a failure to care for in an appropriate manner.
Because residents in nursing homes can require special care, it is particularly important that the trained staff understands the needs of each resident. If a staff member fails to recognize that someone is suffering from PTSD or does not offer care or treatment, this could be considered a form of neglect.
The Nursing Home Reform Act, a federal law passed in 1987, requires every nursing home facility to provide care to their residents at the highest possible level. If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD and not receiving the care you deserve, this could be in direct violation of federal and state law. In these cases, it is important to understand your legal options.
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What You Can Do If Something Seems Wrong
If you or your loved one is living in a nursing home while suffering from PTSD and you believe the facility has failed to address the PTSD, you could have legal options available. When PTSD is left untreated in nursing homes, you or your loved one could experience serious consequences that could further physical and emotional damage. Some victims of nursing home neglect, such as a failure on behalf of the staff to effectively treat a disease like PTSD, can receive various forms of compensation.
If you are interested in exploring your legal options, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC. A team member is available to discuss your situation during a free consultation, answer your questions about potential compensation, and help you decide if filing a claim is right for you. Call (800) 712-9119 today.
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