Elder abuse, or nursing abuse, is a serious problem. It occurs for a number of reasons, ranging from simple carelessness to deliberate criminal activity. It can be caused by poor training, staff burnout, and resentment, or hiring incompetent and unqualified people.
One thing that is common, though, is that it does incalculable harm to seniors, and causes millions in damages every year in terms of economic and emotional loss. Uncover the most common forms of negligence in a nursing home abuse case, and why an elder law attorney is so important to have in your corner.
Nursing Facility Duty of Care
A nursing facility owes its residents a certain standard of care, and when they fail to perform those duties, they can be held negligent for any harm that results. They are required to provide for the needs of their residents, and this can include, among other things:
- Providing meals
- Help residents dress and bathe if needed
- Making sure residents get their required medication
- Helping to take care of resident living spaces
- Monitor the medical needs and health of residents
- Provide social events and opportunities
- Ensure residents have a safe, secure, and sanitary place to live
What Is Negligence in a Care Facility?
Whenever the staff in a care facility fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care in providing for the needs of the residents, this is negligence. Negligence is not always actionable in court, however; there needs to be harm suffered for an abuse case to proceed. This harm need not be physical; emotional damage has been held up as a reason for civil suits.
If for example, a staff member is assigned to ensure a resident gets their medication at a certain time each day and fails to keep up the schedule, this is negligence. Because such a failure directly endangers the welfare of the resident, it is also potentially actionable.
Common Forms of Negligence
Nursing home abuse refers to seriously harmful acts of negligence, where the staff should have known better or deliberately behaved badly. Some common forms of negligence which can be considered nursing home abuse include:
- Failure to deliver medication on time
- Failing to help a resident stay clean or maintain their living area
- Failure to provide opportunities for socialization
- Failure to provide security to keep residents from wandering
- Failure to clean up a spill which could result in someone slipping and falling
- Failure to maintain doctor’s appointments
Pursuing a Nursing Home Abuse Case
If you suspect you have a nursing home abuse case, there are several steps you should take. First, call the local authorities and report the issue. Your first order of business is to protect your loved one from further harm. Next, do what you need to do, to remove your loved one from the bad situation. Finally, call a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to handle your case.
An experienced attorney can help protect your loved one’s rights and recover compensation for the harm they may have suffered at the hands of neglectful nursing home staff. At Mitch Grissim and Associates, we have decades of experience in this area and we’d like to help you. If you’re in Tennessee and suffered this kind of neglect, call us for help today or complete our online contact form.