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Defining neglect in a nursing home setting

A study published in Cureus in 2021 revealed that abuse of those aged 65 or older occurs in about 10% of that population. Common types of elder abuse include neglect that occurs within nursing homes.

One of the ways to protect the older generation is to learn the signs of neglect.

Definition of neglect

Neglect refers to the failure of caregivers to provide adequate care, attention and support to residents who rely on their assistance. Nursing homes should provide round-the-clock care and support for elderly individuals who may have various medical conditions, mobility issues or cognitive impairments. Neglect can lead to harm or deterioration in the residents’ physical, emotional or mental state.

Types of neglect

Physical neglect involves the failure to meet basic needs, such as food, water, hygiene and medical attention. This includes skipping meals, not helping with personal hygiene routines and not administering prescribed medications on time.

Emotional neglect involves the isolation of residents and lack of support. It occurs when caregivers ignore residents’ emotional needs, leading to feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.

Medical neglect is failing to address medical needs. Not providing necessary medical treatments, therapies or regular check-ups are all examples.

Personal hygiene neglect occurs when caregivers fail to assist residents with bathing, grooming and toileting. This can result in uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions, potentially leading to health issues.

Neglect in a nursing home setting is a breach of trust and responsibility. Residents and their families place their confidence in these facilities to provide a safe and supportive environment. Detecting neglect can be challenging, but everyone must remain vigilant in recognizing signs and preventing it from happening.