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Evaluating nursing home standards of care with dementia patients

When people are forced to send their loved ones to live in a nursing home, they want to be sure that the nursing home staff in charge of caring for their elderly friends or family members are competent and compassionate. Unfortunately, negligence and other forms of elderly abuse occur in a number of nursing homes in Maryland, and as a result, many elderly residents are emotionally, financially and physically scarred. In an attempt to minimize this problem, nursing home staff members are held to a certain standard of care in the way they interact with and care for nursing home residents.

According to the National Law Review, cases of nursing home negligence may stem from residents who suffer from dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. Members of the nursing home staff who have not been properly trained on how to handle people with this condition may not be prepared to handle the behavioral and cognitive problems that it may cause. These symptoms, which include disorientation, difficulty remembering things, confusion, irritability and an avoidance of self-care, must be dealt with appropriately.

Negligence, or not taking care of a person’s basic needs, accounts for more than 50 percent of all reported cases of elder abuse, according to HelpGuide.org. This can occur when the following occurs:

  •          Residents are not bathed regularly.
  •          Staff fails to help residents to the restroom, resulting in frequent accidents.
  •          Residents are not fed.
  •          Residents are left in their room for extended periods of time without being checked.
  •          Residents are kept in unsanitary conditions.

Acts of elderly negligence not only put the resident at risk of developing a physical ailment, but it is also emotionally traumatizing to the elderly patient. 

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