Nursing Home Neglect: When Do You Have A Case?

Law Articles

Nursing homes can be a great place for loved ones to live out their twilight years as they enter their final days. Most nursing homes provide a quality service to their patrons and make sure that their elderly clientele are cared for to the best of their abilities, ensuring that you will not have to worry about your elderly family member's health. However, this is not always the case. There are certain cases where blatant neglect occurs in nursing homes. In these cases, you should be armed with the facts regarding how you should address this issue.

Standards Of Care In Nursing Homes

All nursing homes must conform to standards of care. Standards of care are essentially protocol that all nursing homes must obey, lest they fall victim to a lawsuit. Essentially, a nursing home must ensure that a patient or client's health does not decline, unless a decline in their health is medically unavoidable. A nursing home must accommodate a client's needs, unless that client's needs interfere with protocol or create an element of hostility among other nursing home patients.

For example, if a client demands his or her bathing period occur at a different time than that which is normally scheduled, the home should meet his or her needs, unless, for some reason, that patient is attempting to get out of a bathing session, in which case that can create an air of hostility among the other patients (either due to perceived unfairness or the general element of unhygienic conditions).

Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect

There are numerous ways in which you can determine if nursing home neglect is occurring in your nursing home of choice. It is best to always keep your eyes open and listen to the elderly clientele. Remember that an elderly person who does not see his or her family often may have trouble expressing him- or herself regarding issues of neglect. Make sure to look for the following signs of neglect:

  • sudden weight loss
  • bedsores
  • malnutrition
  • rapid changes in hygienic practices
  • a lack of friendly or courteous interaction with nursing home staff
  • environmental hazards (such as unsafe furniture, poor lighting conditions, etc.)
  • dehydration
  • injuries due to trauma (in particular, be on the lookout for bruises)

When Should You Hire A Lawyer

Generally speaking, you should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect that there is a general air of mistreatment and neglect occurring at a loved one's nursing home. Pursuing legal action will most likely be in your best interest, and it will certainly be in your loved one's best interest. A lawyer can generally provide consultation and ultimately may be helpful in helping you receive compensation for medical bills, as well as recouping funds lost while your loved one stayed in a nursing home. Furthermore, a personal injury lawyer can provide you with peace of mind from knowing that your loved one will no longer have to endure neglect.

Roadblocks To Suing For Nursing Home Neglect

If your loved one is involved in a situation of negligence at a nursing home, taking legal recourse is definitely recommended; however, note that suing any party can be a difficult proposition. It is far from one of the easiest experiences you will ever have in your life. The onus of proof in these cases is on you, the plaintiff. Collecting evidence may mean that your loved one will have to stay in the nursing home under less than ideal conditions, longer than expected. As always, however, it is best to consult a personal injury attorney before pursuing any legal action. Talk with him or her before deciding what your best option is.

As you can see, your loved one may be put into a bit of a pickle if she is in a nursing home that does not provide adequate care for him or her. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do to rectify that situation.


1 April 2015

Noni and the Accident

My name is Noni. When I was in college, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. My life was never in danger, but I did break a few bones and had a lot of huge medical bills. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get involved with an attorney, but unfortunately, it came down to that. I used a family friend who is an accident attorney to get some compensation. A few years later, I was hit while riding my bike and had to go through the same process. I suppose I'm lucky to be alive. And it's thanks to accident attorneys that I have been able to put my life back together. I started this blog as a way to let others know just how much lawyers can help you in certain situations.