Negligence is essentially the failure to satisfy the standard of care in your actions or inactions, resulting in serious, life-altering harm. Negligent nursing home staff members may cause direct harm to residents who entrust them with their health and safety. Although nursing home negligence is common in elder care facilities across the nation, nursing home abuse lawyers are addressing and prosecuting violators one case at a time in hopes of creating a safer environment for senior residents.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
When you admit your parent, grandparent, aunt, or other relative into an elder care facility, you entrust the administration and the caretakers with a crucial responsibility: making sure your loved one is safe and sound. While the law says you must be made aware of the anti-abuse policies governing the quality of care at the home, often these policies are nothing more than words on paper. During the facility selection process, family members have the right to review past nursing home inspection results — although abuse can and frequently does occur in homes with perfect inspection records.
In many cases of nursing home neglect, the family members aren’t aware of the comprehensive scope of residents’ rights, which can make it difficult to tell when these rights are being violated. Even if negligence is only suspected, hiring a nursing home negligence attorney to clearly explain your rights and discuss signs of negligence can be a great help.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Unlike with physical abuse, nursing home neglect happens when a caregiver fails to provide necessary care to dependent residents. Based on federal and state laws, it is illegal to intentionally withhold services needed to maintain health. Based on lack of care, residents can suffer all kinds of physical and mental harm. Neglect is usually exhibited by staff members who are directly responsible for providing medical care, daily living assistance, mobilization and activities, and nutrition.
Indications of nursing home negligence can include:
- Bedsores from lack of mobility
- Deficient nutrition from lack of healthy food
- Dehydration from lack of fluids
- Illness from lack of medical treatment or medication
- Depression from forced isolation
- Infections from unsanitary conditions
- Using an Attorney to Fight Nursing Home Negligence
Talk to a nursing home attorney about beginning a thorough investigation, carefully evaluating the daily routines and spotting inconsistencies in care that could indicate neglect. Your legal team can also delve deep into the facility’s history and record of care to uncover unfair management practices or policies that encourage mistreatment or promote concealment of mistreatment evidence. Individual nursing home staff members responsible for neglect, as well as administrative decision-makers who did nothing to curb neglect, may be held legally responsible to the victims and their families.