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Nursing home negligence: Staff should recognize mental illness

If an aging parent transitions to residence in a Wyoming nursing home, it may be one of the biggest life-changing events in that particular family's history. For adult children, it can be a highly emotional experience. A main concern for most sons and daughters is making sure nursing home negligence does not negatively affect their loved ones.

Mental illness often rears its ugly head in older nursing home patients. That is why staff members are trained to recognize symptoms and to take appropriate action to provide as high quality care as possible for any patient who is suffering from dementia or other mental health conditions. If a staff member fails to report a potential sign of patient distress or is aware of a problem and does not provide proper care, the patient in question is at great risk for injury.

The signs and symptoms of mental illness are often not immediately apparent but occur gradually and subtly over time. This is why nursing home workers are trained to be keenly observant of the patients in their care. If a particular resident starts having memory loss, perhaps misplacing personal belongings or not remembering the names of close family members who visit, it may be a sign that he or she is developing a mental health issue.

Other mental health symptoms include lack of personal hygiene or sudden mood swings. Assisted living care providers are often alerted to their patients' conditions ahead of time and understand how to handle special needs. If nursing home negligence causes a Wyoming elder to suffer injury, he or she (or an adult child acting on his or her behalf) can seek justice by filing a negligence claim in a civil court.

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