Nursing home neglect is the failure to meet an older adult’s needs, which include food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care. When our loved ones move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, we are expecting them to provide protective oversight for our elderly loved ones. For example, when a patient has Alzheimer’s or dementia, or is experiencing confusion for any reason, they require monitoring to ensure their safety. When a basic standard of care is not met and your loved one is severely injured or dies as a result, the family may wish to pursue a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
Nursing home neglect and negligence lawsuits
You may be able to bring a nursing home abuse or negligence lawsuit if your loved one was harmed due to neglect in an assisted-living facility or nursing home. The purpose of a nursing home neglect lawsuit is to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical costs, etc. and to seek justice on behalf of your elderly loved one.
Common types of nursing home neglect include:
- Neglect of social or emotional needs (isolation)
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Neglect of basic needs such as food and shelter
- Neglect of medical needs
If you believe that your elderly loved one may have been neglected in their long-term care facility, a nursing home neglect lawsuit may be an appropriate way to seek justice. Contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as you are able.
Who is liable for nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is a real risk to millions of seniors every day. There are two main parties that can be held responsible for senior neglect and abuse:
- Nursing home administrators/owners may be found negligent in the care of their residents by failing to provide a safe and clean facility, healthy food and medications, emergency care, or adequate training/staffing of the caretakers they employ.
- Care facility staff may also be found negligent in the care of the residents they serve if they act in a negligent or abusive manner inconsistent with the training they received.
Family lawsuit in Colorado alleges 97-year-old froze to death near door of assisted-living facility
Assisted-living facilities for seniors are supposed to be safe and secure places where elderly residents can’t just wander off and get lost. Sadly, a 97-year-old resident named Mary Jo Staub wandered outside her assisted living facility in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures and died after collapsing in the cold. The family’s lawsuit alleges that it took more than five hours for a staff member to find her after she got locked out, despite the fact that she had been experiencing confusion, depression and memory loss, and was determined to be in need of close monitoring by staff.
As reported by CBS News, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment inspected the facility after the incident and found several violations. The government agency issued eight citations, which were eventually corrected, according to the news site.
What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse / neglect of your elderly family member
The first thing to do if you suspect abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility is to speak with your family member and some of the other residents. You may also wish to speak with staff or administrators to hear their explanation of your concerns.
If you are not satisfied with answers provided by the staff or nursing home administrators, or the seriousness of the situation is so clear that you have no doubt about abuse; you should take steps to remove your loved one from the facility and report the abuse. To find your state’s reporting number, go to the National Center on Elder Abuse website and click on “Where to Report Abuse.”
A nursing home neglect lawyer can help
Nursing homes are represented by insurance companies who will try to settle cases as quickly and cheaply as they can. Experienced nursing home neglect lawyers can be a very valuable asset for negotiating the settlement you deserve. A negligence suit is the most powerful way of punishing a nursing home; it can reap monetary damage awards for the plaintiff and impose a license suspension or revocation, force changes to operating procedures, and a loss of government funding to the nursing home.
If your loved one has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect, you may be feeling overwhelmed with how to help them. Let an experienced nursing home abuse attorney help you fight for justice. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a good lawyer. Call the caring elder abuse attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!