Nursing home neglect in Utah and throughout the U.S. has been a problem for decades. Unfortunately, the pandemic may have made it worse. A recent article published by the Associated Press predicts that in addition to the 90,000 nursing home deaths directly attributed to COVID-19, tens of thousands more residents have likely died due to neglect during the pandemic. The fact that neglect is likely the cause of death means that nursing homes are not caring for their patients as they should.
Nursing Home Neglect is Nothing New
Families are being let down in the worst possible way when their cherished loved ones die due to neglect. The tragedy is obvious, but it is important to recognize that this is nothing new. Nursing homes are notorious for neglecting residents. In Utah alone, ProPublica reports that nursing homes have had to pay almost $1 million in penalties in just the past three years because of failures to meet basic state requirements. And the truth is, there are likely far more violations than are ever noticed by the authorities.
How to Recognize Nursing Home Neglect
If you are like most people with a loved in one a nursing home, the current pandemic makes it even harder for you to watch over them. You are likely limited to video calls at best, which can increase the difficulty in identifying the signs of nursing home neglect. That being said, it is still helpful to know the signs so you can do your best to watch out for them. Here are some of the most common:
- Head injuries
- Emotional disturbance – agitation, non-responsive, withdrawn
You may struggle to tell if your loved one has bed sores or infections, but there are a few things you can look for on a video call more specifically. These include:
- They have lost a lot of weight recently
- They appear significantly more pale than usual
- Their attitude has turned dramatically for the worse, such as not responding to questions or being angry
- They appear noticeably weaker than before
As you can see, many of the last points are things you would notice most easily if you communicated regularly. It is a good idea to schedule a video call weekly to keep track of their condition. Several of the family members interviewed in the Associated Press article noted that it only took a week or two for their loved one to go from happy and healthy to deadly ill.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Neglect?
Noticing signs that your loved one is being neglected or harmed is enough to make anyone upset. Our Utah nursing home neglect law firm encourages you to channel that hurt and anger into action. If you think neglect is occurring, we would like to speak with you. Our Utah nursing home neglect lawyer can answer your questions and help you put a stop to the neglect. We will fight hard on your behalf.