Unlike elder abuse, negligence in a nursing home is not always intentional. Still, nursing home negligence can cause serious injuries and death. Any failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs is considered negligence in a nursing home.
Failure to Meet Basic Needs
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human beings’ basic needs include food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care. When you put your loved one in a nursing home, you are trusting that facility to meet your loved one’s basic needs – usually when you can no longer do it yourself.
When nursing homes fail to meet these needs, the results can be catastrophic. For example, an older adult who does not get enough food can face malnutrition and starvation.
Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
Weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, and poor personal hygiene are some of the telltale signs of nursing home negligence. Other signs of negligence and neglect include bedsores, unexplained infections, and serious medical complications that could have been prevented with the correct care or medicine.
If your loved one looks unhealthy or exhibits sudden changes in personality or behavior when you visit, you should ask the nursing home about the care they are receiving. If nursing home neglect leads to a serious injury or loss, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
A good lawyer can help you remove your loved one from a negligent nursing home, cope with rehousing costs, and even pay the medical bills that become necessary because of the neglect. In the worst-case scenario, your lawyer can help you afford funeral and burial expenses, as well.
Other Forms of Negligence
Nursing home neglect refers to the failure of the nursing home to meet your loved one’s basic needs, but nursing home negligence can include any action or inaction that leads to injury or death.
Other forms of nursing home negligence include:
- Failure to maintain safe premises (i.e., spills in the kitchen, dirty or cluttered patient rooms)
- Negligent hiring and training (i.e., not performing background checks, hiring unqualified individuals, sending new hires to help patients with no training.)
- Negligent supervision (i.e., letting patients get in and out of bed or perform other unsafe activities without supervision and assistance)
- Inadequate health and safety policies (i.e., lack of cleaning protocol)
Whether a nursing home hires someone who hurts your loved one, fails to keep clean and sanitary conditions, or allows hazards that lead to slip and fall accident, the company is exhibiting negligence.
Sometimes, nursing homes take every step to keep your loved ones safe, and the inevitable happens, but often, nursing home injuries and deaths are a result of nursing home negligence.
The Standard of Care
As healthcare providers, nursing homes must abide by the standard of care. This means they must provide the same care that another similarly qualified provider would issue under similar circumstances. If a nursing home provides care that falls below the standard – or fails to provide care at all – they can be liable under medical malpractice laws.
Nursing homes must also abide by several regulations at the state and federal levels, particularly when they accept Medicare. If a nursing home violates the standard of care or an important law, they are likely demonstrating negligence, as well.
How to Hold a Nursing Home Responsible for Negligence
Even a “minor” injury could have serious consequences for an older adult and jeopardize the quality of the life they have left. Do not let nursing homes get away with negligence. Instead, you can contact our firm, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, and schedule a free consultation with our compassionate attorney.
When you come to us, we will investigate the nursing home to determine what went wrong, gather proof, and help you hold the nursing home responsible for its negligence. Our lead attorney, Charles R. Gueli, has been helping people like you for more than 2 decades, and he would be honored to handle your case with personalized care and attention.
We cannot only help you get a sense of justice but also recover the resources you need to make sure your loved one is getting the care they deserve.
If your loved one has been injured by nursing home neglect or negligence, please do not hesitate to call us at (516) 628-6402 or send us a message online – we are available 24/7 to accept your call, respond to your inquiry, and help you get the legal help you need.