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What actions constitute nursing home neglect?

Seeing an elderly loved one's mental or physical health decline can be both sad and worrisome for residents of Missouri. Not only may they feel their loved one is slipping away from them, but they may also worry about their loved one's ability to care for themselves. This situation is often what prompts them to place their loved one in a nursing home, where they are supposed to receive the care needed to keep them health, safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is an all-too-common situation that may put a resident's health and safety in jeopardy.

In general, nursing home neglect takes place when a nursing home staff member caring for the victim or the nursing home facility as a whole fails to meet their duty of care. Nursing home neglect can be active, meaning the staff member or facility purposely neglects to take care of the victim, or it can be passive, meaning the nursing home staff member or facility is not able to meet its responsibilities towards the victim, for example, due to insufficient resources.

Nursing home neglect encompasses a number of activities. This includes not providing residents with the necessities of life such as food, shelter or clean water. It also includes failing to provide residents with their medications or proper clothing. Also, neglect can take place if a resident's personal hygiene is not taken care of.

In the end, if a person suspects their loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect they should not hesitate to take the actions necessary to protect their loved one's health, safety and interests. For those who have suffered harm due to nursing home neglect, one option may be filing a lawsuit to pursue damages for the losses incurred due to the neglect.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Elder Abuse," accessed March 30, 2017

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