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Neglecting Patient Needs

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, neglect is the failure of a healthcare provider to offer life’s necessities to an individual for whom the facility is caring.

Neglect that is unintentional happens when a healthcare provider does not have the necessary knowledge or skills to care for an individual that is dependent.

The healthcare provider may not be aware of the kinds of support which are available; the provider may himself or herself be ill, and lack ability to offer care.


When intentional, neglect is when an elderly individual is not provided with adequate shelter, clothing, food, dental care and medical attention, or abandoned.

Neglecting patient needs may be the inadequate use of medication, lack of personal care or poor hygiene, or any refusal to allow others to offer proper treatment.

Examples of this can include the following:

  • Inadequate drink and food may cause weight loss, wasting, malnutrition, and dehydration.
  • The individual may have faecal impaction or constipation.
  • Lack of physical, social, mental, or cultural stimulation/contact, and isolation.
  • Inadequate supervision, namely when treating an individual with dementia, the individual is left unattended or abandoned for extended periods, or without any supervision, locked in the house.

  • Inappropriate or inadequate use of medicines, for instance, the individual in the middle of the day may be over-sedated.

Physical Needs Unmet

The individual may not be offered with aids necessary, such as dentures, spectacles, a walking frame, or hearing aids.

Clothing may be inadequate for the season or in poor repair.

Inadequate skin care or poor hygiene can be problematic. The elderly person may be infested with lice, smell of urine strongly, or extremely dirty.

With chafing and abrasions, there may be a urine rash.

When a person is not mobile in several cases, he or she may develop pressure areas over the elbows, pelvis, hips, or heels.

Hypothermia, bronchitis, pneumonia, or recent calls may develop.

In some nursing facilities that are for-profit, even the requirements which are the minimum are not adhered to properly, can lead to negligence as a result of certified nursing assistants, nursing home directors, and registered nurses.

Staffing that is inadequate can lead to neglecting patient needs, and abuse in the nursing home where medicines are not administered properly, or administered on time.

Dosages may not be correct or may be administered at the wrong rate. Residents who are not mobile may not be correctly turned, or rotated every few hours promptly.

These elderly patients, consequently, can usually develop fatal infections despite crying out to nursing staff for assistance.

In many cases, patients are typically left in their own urine and/or unchanged clothing to lie with little to no ability to ambulate on their own, and get out of bed.

Ongoing conditions that are not hygienic, overtime, can result in traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, and the likelihood of developing broken hips and weakened muscles.

The skilled attorneys, with collective experience in medical malpractice, have recovered financial damages for many victims of parties held liable for neglecting patient needs.

Contact us for a free consultation or call Anzalone Law Firm PLLC, at: 603.548.3797.

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