CHICAGO, IL – When residents move into nursing home facilities, nursing home staff will obtain you or your loved one’s health information and review health conditions to prepare your care plan. One of the leading causes of nursing home injuries is when nursing home staff fails to follow care plans and monitor residents in the facility.
A care plan is a nursing homes road map for a particular resident. The care plan identifies risks and needs that are specific to each patient. You, your family, or someone acting on your behalf has the right to take part in planning your care with nursing home staff.
What Care Plans Include
According to Medicare, care plans will include information such as:
- Physical conditions the patient has, such as diabetes or neuropathy
- Psychological conditions the patient has, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia
- If the patient needs routine blood-sugar monitoring
- If the resident is a fall risk and needs mobility assistance
- If the resident needs assistance eating
- If the patient has a proclivity to wander off
- Types of equipment or supplies you need, such as a wheelchair or feeding tube
- What kind of diet you need (if you follow a specific diet) and your food preferences
- How your care plan will help you reach your goals
- Any special instructions to keep the resident happy and healthy
Unfortunately, many nursing homes disregard patient care plans. Many nursing home facilities are plagued by inadequate staffing levels, unqualified staff, failing to supervise, and high employee turnovers. These factors all contribute to the chance the patient’s care plan will not be followed or go unnoticed.
Comprehensive care plans are crucial to understand the patient’s state of health and well-being. Care plans address issues such as risk prevention, how well the patient can care for themselves, progression of care, health and wellness goals, monitoring schedules, details about ongoing care, when and how often the plan itself needs revision, and emergency procedures.
Signs Nursing Home Care Plans Are Not Being Followed
There are indicators that a care plan is not being followed; however, it is difficult to know with complete certainty. Some signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Failure to regularly turn an individual, resulting in bedsores
- Failure to follow meal instructions (such as pureeing food), which can lead to choking
- Infections resulting from failure to properly hygiene or toileting procedures
- Malnutrition from improper feeding procedures
- Improper administration of medication
The root cause analysis of neglect or abuse may be linked with gaps in their care plan development, or a lack of communication regarding the patient’s plan.
Why Are Care Plans Not Followed?
There is no “good” excuse for why a residents care plan is not being followed, or any excuse for abuse or neglect of any kind. However, there are a list of factors that may contribute to why your loved ones care plan is not being followed. This may include:
- Fatigue and burnout, from overtime or a lack of adequate staffing levels
- Lack of directives from supervisors
- Lack of staff background checks
- Lack of trained nurses
- Residents being too scared or ashamed to report
- Overtime or limited time
- Poor supervision or training
- High turnover rates
- Unprecedented outbreaks of disease (e.g.: COVID-19)
Reporting an Incident of Neglect or Abuse
If you suspect your loved ones nursing home facility is neglecting to follow their care plan, you should advise the administrators of their nursing home and contact the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman. You should also contact the Illinois Department of Public Health Bureau of Long-Term Care and Illinois Adult Protective Services to report the incident.
If your loved one’s needs are being neglected, please call the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our seasoned attorneys have the knowledge and resources, and we know when your loved one is not receiving the quality care they deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation at (312) 394-1920 or visit our website for more information.