Many families opt to take their elderly loved ones to nursing homes due to the perceived level of medical care offered in these facilities. As individuals age, they are faced with unique medical needs that most families are simply not equipped to handle. Nursing homes may even make it a point to advertise and emphasize their skill at caring for the medical needs of the elderly.
Unfortunately, many of these homes fail to provide their patients with even some of their most basic medical needs. A DuPage medical errors attorney understands that in these cases and a few others, nursing homes may be guilty of nursing home neglect as well as medical neglect.
Nursing home neglect vs medical neglect
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, nursing homes are negligent when they are guilty of the following main types of neglect:
- Emotional – ignoring, isolating or yelling at patients
- Personal hygiene – patients do not receive clean laundry, baths, or other types of hygienic attention.
- Basic needs – a person’s basic needs, such as food, water, and a clean place to live, are not provided.
- Medical – Patients do not receive the medical care, including preventative care, which they need.
Medical neglect is only one type of neglect in which nursing homes can engage. If a patient’s basic needs for food and clean bedding are not being met, the home is guilty of nursing home neglect, but not medical neglect. Conversely, a patient can be located in a pristine room, bathed daily and dressed well, but if they are not receiving the treatment they need for their medical conditions due to cost cutting at their facility, they are being neglected medically.
Not dependent on facility type
A DuPage medical errors attorney should understand the difference between medical neglect and medical malpractice. Unlike with medical malpractice, which requires a lapse in care from a certified healthcare worker, medical neglect occurs simply when proper medical care is withheld. Although some nursing homes are filled with skilled, certified nurses and doctors, the vast majority of facilities today are staffed by simple care workers who help residents through their daily tasks. Moreover, most of these workers would claim to be overworked and underpaid. These situations may easily lead to instances of severe nursing home neglect and medical neglect.
Those with loved ones who have been medically neglected at their nursing homes should contact a DuPage medical errors attorney immediately for assistance. With their help, victims may receive compensation for the damages they have sustained in connection with their neglect, including pain and suffering.