When you entrust your loved one to the care of a nursing home, you fully expect that nursing home to provide your elderly relative with the excellent health care he or she deserves. Sometimes, however, nursing homes fall short of this level of care, and sometimes, nursing homes are even negligent in their provision of care. If your loved one has been injured or suffered because of what you believe is nursing home negligence, don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. Negligence is never acceptable, and negligence in a nursing home or assisted living facility is especially egregious.
Nursing Homes and Duty of Care
Nursing homes owe a duty of care to their residents, and this duty of care extends to assessing each resident for his or her individual needs and to implementing a plan of care that adequately addresses these needs. This means that the healthcare facility to which you entrust your loved one’s care is responsible for ascertaining your relative’s unique vulnerabilities and for creating an individualized plan of care that addresses and provides for these unique needs.
Your Loved One’s Claim
If your loved one has been injured due to nursing home neglect, you are no doubt overwhelmed by the situation. After all, you carefully chose a nursing home to protect and provide for your aging relative—and certainly never expected for him or her to be harmed by neglect. At Brauns Law in Duluth, Georgia, we understand how emotionally taxing neglect cases can be, and we’re here to help. We have the experience, skill, dedication, and compassion to help ensure that you and your loved one are adequately compensated for your ordeal.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect can take any number of forms, and every case is unique. There are, however, four primary categories of such neglect:
(1) Social or emotional neglect
Sometimes, a nursing home will fail to provide a resident with adequate social or emotional engagement. Sometimes, the staff at a nursing home is overworked in general and can become irritated with those residents whom they identify as needing too much help. Whatever the reason for such neglect, however, the effect is the same—social or emotional neglect.
(2) Neglect in the form of personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is fundamental to personal health, but when residents rely on the nursing home staff to help them with such essential aid, its absence can have devastating effects. Personal hygiene can include laundry, oral hygiene, daily bathing, and other forms of basic hygiene that are essential to healthy daily living.
(3) Neglect in the form of basic needs
Basic needs include such necessities as adequate hydration, nutrition, and other elements of a safe, clean living environment. When nursing homes fail to afford their residents with these essential factors of daily living, they can be found negligent.
(4) Neglect in the form of medical care
Residents of nursing homes usually require ongoing medical attention. When the healthcare facility fails to provide adequate care, complications can ensue, including bed sores, infections, cuts, diabetic complications, cognitive impairment, mobility issues, and much more.
Nursing homes are charged with allowing elderly individuals to live their fullest lives. When these healthcare facilities neglect to provide the basic elements of such, they can be found legally negligent.
The Warning Signs
If you’re concerned that your elderly loved one may be exposed to nursing home neglect, it can be difficult to definitively prove. There are, however, some telltale signs of such negligence:
- A resident who suddenly loses or gains weight
- A resident with unexplained bedsores or pressure ulcers
- A resident who experiences unexplained dehydration
- A resident who experiences unexplained malnutrition
- A resident who experiences a marked change in behavior
- A resident who exhibits a marked change in personal hygiene or appearance
- A resident who experiences a marked decrease in social interactions with fellow residents
The marked appearance of environmental hazards in the resident’s dwelling, including poor lighting, slippery surfaces, hazardous mobility devices, and unsafe furniture
The Nursing Home Environment
Living in a nursing home subjects the residents to the whims of the facility. If the nursing home is negligent in its duties, residents are at serious risk of experiencing unsatisfying and/or unhealthy living conditions. Such neglect can lead to injury, disease, infection, physical harm, and even death. Some forms of nursing home neglect are obvious to the outside observer, but others are far less noticeable and can go undetected. If you suspect that nursing home negligence is at play in the facility where your loved one resides, do not hesitate to consult with a personal injury attorney with extensive experience litigating nursing home negligence claims.
Preventing Nursing Home Negligence
A well-managed and well-run nursing home should be attuned to every residents’ reasonable needs. Those patients who are categorized as high risk for potential injury, for example, should receive the individualized care they need to protect them from such injuries. Those residents with mobility issues, on the other hand, should receive the mobility aid they need. In other words, effective nursing home care is based on the residents’ unique needs and is reliably consistent.
Pay Careful Attention
When a nursing home fails to provide your loved one with the minimum acceptable level of personal health care—including social and/or hygiene needs—that facility is negligent in its duties. Because the elderly are often unable to adequately and effectively voice their concerns, those living in nursing home environments are especially vulnerable to neglect.
Your best line of defense against nursing home neglect is to pay close attention to the signs around you. Visit your elderly relative regularly and at varied times, and notice how the facility runs, how the staff treats the residents, and the mood at mealtimes. If you identify significant signs of neglect that you believe have harmed your loved one, take it upon yourself to seek experienced legal counsel.
If Your Elderly Loved One Has Experienced Nursing Home Neglect, Seek the Legal Counsel of Brauns Law
Nursing home neglect can be especially difficult to come to terms with. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Brauns Law, Personal Injury Firm, in Duluth, Georgia, understand what you’re going through and are here to help. We have the skill, commitment, and compassion to aggressively advocate for the compensation to which you and your loved one are entitled. Please contact or call us at (404) 205-8614 for a free consultation today.