Who Is Liable For Patient Neglect In Nursing Homes?
More than one million elderly individuals reside in nursing homes throughout the United States, with a majority of the population over the age of 60. These long-term healthcare and assisted living facilities provide services to the elderly, diseased, or terminally ill individuals, including end-of-life care. While the decision of getting your elderly loved one admitted to a nursing home is highly challenging, the emotional stress of finding out that they are being mistreated at the facility can be crushing.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is highly common throughout the United States. According to official estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), 33% of all nursing home residents will experience some form of abuse or neglect during their stay at the facility. Mistreatment by the nursing home staff or caregivers is one of the most common causes of nursing home abuse that can have devastating consequences for the physical and emotional well-being of your loved one. If you discover any signs of elderly abuse, such as bedsores from a nursing home, you can pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is one of the most common preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in nursing home residents. It can manifest in multiple forms, including unhygienic appearance, unsanitary living conditions, malnutrition, dehydration, poor infection control, failure to reposition or ambulate, etc.
Bedsores are some of the most easily recognizable signs of nursing home neglect in individuals, especially if they are bed-ridden and cannot walk or move without assistance. Persistent moisture, lack of movement, failure to turn sides, or maintain adequate nutrition can develop bed or pressure sores, which can get infected and lead to systemic disease. These lesions are extremely painful, and their avoidance requires a thorough periodic assessment of the skin.
Liability in Nursing Home Neglect Cases
Nursing homes, by definition, are required to provide adequate care to the elderly. These facilities are responsible to maintain and regularly monitor the physical and mental health of their residents, and any lapses in this continuity of care can make them liable for neglect, particularly if this lack of care results in serious harm to the elderly.
If it is discovered that nursing home caregivers or staff were negligent in their duty of care towards the elderly, legal action can be taken against them. A lawsuit against the negligent party can help recover the costs of medical treatment and physical rehabilitation of your loved one, and in some cases, the lapse in medical care can be severe enough to qualify for a legal claim related to medical malpractice.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been mistreated or inadequately cared for at a nursing home, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent parties for the compensation of damages to your loved one’s physical and mental health. You can also potentially file a medical malpractice claim against the caregivers if it is discovered that they failed to provide adequate medical care to your loved one. Contacting a skilled nursing home attorney is one of the most important steps toward securing your loved one’s legal rights.