3 Drastic Effects of PTSD in Nursing Homes When Untreated
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, for short) affects individuals who have experienced or witnessed something traumatic. PTSD is particularly prevalent among individuals who have served in the military, but it can also affect people who have been involved in accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events. Unfortunately, this condition is often undiagnosed and untreated in nursing homes, leading to drastic effects on residents and staff and intervention from an elder abuse and neglect lawyer.
Individuals with PTSD may experience intense flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety, which can cause them to become agitated and aggressive. This aggression can be particularly dangerous in nursing homes, where residents may be physically vulnerable, and staff may not have the training or resources to manage violent behavior.
In some cases, untreated PTSD can lead to physical abuse of nursing home residents by staff members. Staff members who have experienced traumatic events themselves may be more likely to develop PTSD, which can result in a cycle of abuse and trauma. Suppose nursing homes do not have proper protocols for identifying and treating PTSD. Staff members may be more likely to lash out at residents, leading to physical injuries and emotional trauma.
Possible Legal Action
Nursing homes are legally responsible for providing a safe and supportive environment for their residents, and failure to do so can result in serious legal consequences. Suppose a resident is injured or traumatized due to the violent behavior of a staff member with PTSD. In that case, the nursing home may be liable for negligence through the intervention of an elder abuse and neglect lawyer.
In addition to potential legal action, nursing homes may face other consequences if they fail to address PTSD among their staff and residents. For example, facilities may lose their operating license if they violate state or federal resident safety and care regulations. This can devastate their reputation and financial stability and have serious consequences for the residents who rely on that facility for their care.
Staff members struggling with PTSD may be less able to provide compassionate and attentive care to residents, leading to a decline in their physical and emotional health. This creates a vicious cycle in which residents become more agitated and difficult to care for, leading to further stress and trauma for staff members with PTSD.
To prevent these drastic effects of untreated PTSD in nursing homes, it is essential to prioritize identifying and treating this condition. Nursing homes should have protocols for assessing staff and residents for PTSD and providing appropriate treatment and support. This may involve partnering with mental health professionals, implementing trauma-informed care practices, and offering support groups and other resources for staff and residents.
In addition to addressing PTSD directly, nursing homes can set a safer and more supportive environment for their residents. This may involve improving training and supervision for staff members, implementing more effective communication protocols, and providing opportunities for residents to participate in activities that promote mental and emotional wellness.
We Hold Care Facilities Accountable for Senior Abuse and Neglect
By prioritizing the identification and treatment of PTSD, nursing homes can create a safer and more supportive environment for everyone involved. This can lead to better resident outcomes, reduced legal risks for nursing homes, and a more positive overall experience for staff members.
Bossie, Reilly & Oh was established by Melanie Bossie, Mary Ellen Reilly, and Donna Oh to ensure further that nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, and assisted living facilities are held responsible for mistreating and disregarding elderly and vulnerable adults. Our law firm has successfully litigated numerous elder abuse and neglect cases, leading to multiple six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts for clients. Talk to an elder abuse and neglect lawyer at (602) 553-4557.