We mostly take the elderly to nursing facilities and expect the nursing homes to provide the best care possible. However, this is often not the case? Many cases have been reported where the elderly have been abused in nursing facilities. According to the National Council on Aging, elderly abuse is an issue that affects 1 in 10 Americans above the age of 60. However, only a few of these cases end up being reported. All nursing homes are subject to state and federal laws. These laws require all nursing homes to provide a safe and quality environment for the elderly. If you were abused in your nursing facility or a home for the elderly, you could sue them under state and federal laws.
Who to Blame?
Who to blame in a nursing home abuse case depends on how the abuse was carried out. This is because elderly abuse takes many forms, including physical, mental, and verbal. The fault may fall on a staff member of the nursing home. That is why it is crucial to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure that you are fully informed on how to proceed with your case.
Circumstances When the Nursing Home is Liable
If an elder becomes injured or dies due to neglect, this constitutes negligence on behalf of the nursing home. This is because it clearly indicates the nursing home has failed to provide maximum care for the elderly. Neglect can also include conditions that could have contributed to injuries or death. These conditions include lack of hygiene, nutrition, or adequate healthcare in the nursing facility.
Most employees that work in nursing homes may neglect their normal duties due to exhaustion. Some may be inexperienced in taking care of the elderly. If this is the case, the nursing home is to blame for negligence due to lack of supervision and hiring incompetent staff despite being trusted to provide maximum care for their elderly clients. If a nursing home is found to have violated safety laws, it can be held legally culpable and liable for the physical or financial damages caused to the affected elders that have been admitted to the nursing facility.
When is the Staff Liable?
There are times when a staff member may directly cause harm to elderly clients in a nursing home. This would make them liable for the abuse caused to the elderly individuals admitted to the nursing facility. Neglect by nursing home employees is usually the most common form of abuse in nursing facilities. Some of the forms of abuse subjected by nursing home employees to elderly patients include giving inadequate and unhealthy food to clients, not giving the proper medication to clients, and leaving the client unattended. These negligent practices could lead to injury or death.
The staff may also be responsible for exploiting the client’s finances by pocketing them and hardly using the finances for the client’s needs. In most cases, the staff may use harsh words to the elders, mainly due to frustration. Sexual abuse is also among the common types of abuse by the staff. They take advantage of them by forcing themselves on the elders and engaging in sexual activity without their consent. Sexual abuse may also involve touching the elder’s private parts without permission.
Physical aggressiveness like punching, slapping, or handling the elders roughly are also forms of abuse. In cases that involve the infliction of physical injuries on elderly clients, there is proof that the nursing facility knew or should have known about the abuse. Other forms of evidence could include staff reports, witnesses, or surveillance footage.
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