Nursing home abuse differs from neglect in that neglect is not an intentional action. Rather, it is often a lack of action. A caregiver should have done something but neglected to do so, and the elderly person suffered as a result.
For example, maybe someone has limited mobility and needs assistance shifting to a new position every few hours so that they don’t develop bedsores. If the staff members do not come help them, these bedsores can form and even become infected, leading to potentially life-threatening complications.
It’s easy for family members to blame the caregiver, and there are certainly cases in which it is their fault, and they acted neglectfully on their own. But it’s also important to remember that it may not be the caregiver’s fault, and that fault may instead lie with the nursing facility itself.
Issues with understaffing
Part of the problem here is that understaffing is rampant in nursing home communities. This is most common in communities that tend to be underserved already, but it can be found almost anywhere. Many nursing homes and assisted living centers simply did not have the staff on hand to offer proper care to all of the residents.
What this means is that a staff member who is at work may be doing all that they can to hurry to each room and help each patient on time. They are not intentionally being neglectful. They are just overwhelmed and potentially burnt out. They do not have enough time to help everyone because there are not enough hands to get all of the work done.
If your loved one has been neglected in this way, then your path to compensation may actually lie in seeking damages from the nursing home facility itself. For instance, it may be shown that the owners knew that understaffing was a dangerous problem and intentionally did nothing to resolve it because they wanted to save money. This focus on the bottom line put your loved one in danger.