Do you have a loved one living in a senior living facility? You’re not alone. There are over 1.3 million seniors living in facilities across the country.

Unfortunately, senior living facilities come at a risk, especially in the days of COVID-19. There’s no guarantee your loved one is receiving the care they deserve. 

They could suffer from nursing home negligence without realizing it.

What is negligence in nursing homes and how can you prove gross negligence?

Keep reading to find out.

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

First, let’s define nursing home neglect.

Negligence in nursing homes occurs when seniors living in a facility don’t receive proper care. They could suffer from mental or physical problems as a result.

These facilities are required to meet a specific standard of care. If they can’t meet each resident’s basic needs, they’re neglecting those residents.

It’s important to understand the difference between neglect and abuse.

Neglect is a form of abuse. However, not all forms of neglect cause physical injuries. For example, nursing home neglect can occur if staff knowing fails to:

  • Properly bathe residents
  • Feed residents on time
  • Provide residents with their medications

In these instances, residents can file a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit. They can argue the facility neglected or abused them, causing harm. 

Examples of Neglect

Facilities should keep the premises reasonably safe and free of potential hazards. Otherwise, accidents can occur, such as a slip and fall. 

Hiring the wrong type of employee. Negligent hiring could lead to a team of staff members who neglect, harm, or abuse residents. It’s the supervisor’s job to train and watch over their staff members. 

When looking for a senior living facility for your loved one, review the facility’s health and safety policies. A nursing home should have adequate policies in place. For example, they should maintain sanitary conditions for all common areas and rooms.

With COVID-19 still a threat, sanitation is essential. 

The facility is also required to provide all residents adequate medical treatment. In some cases, failure to provide proper treatment could cause harm to a resident. You could file a medical malpractice claim as a result. 

Neglecting a resident could lead to potential medical or safety issues. For example, your loved one might develop bedsores if the staff doesn’t help them out of bed. 

Signs of Neglect

Do you think your loved one is a victim of neglect in nursing homes? If you’re not sure, keep an eye out for these common signs:

1) Staff not helping residents with personal hygiene, including brushing their teeth, clipping nails, getting dressed, and bathing. If your loved one is a victim of neglect, you might notice their personal hygiene has suffered.

Pay attention to the state of the facility as well.

2) Is your loved one living in a sanitary area? Is the space safe and clean?  

3) You might notice your loved one is experiencing physical issues due to malnutrition and dehydration. In fact, about 20% of international nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition. 

4) Is your loved one developing unexplained injuries? Are they afraid of their caregivers or reluctant to talk about what’s happening? Physical injuries and emotional changes could indicate nursing home neglect, too.

If you recognize these signs, consider filing a claim. 

How to Prove Negligence in Nursing Homes

In order to prove negligence, you’ll need evidence that indicates the nursing home breached its duty of care. This can include failing to provide:

  • Hygienic assistance
  • Adequate security
  • Opportunities to exercise, go outside, or socialize
  • Enough caregivers per resident
  • Adequate hiring and training procedures
  • Adequate healthcare
  • Water, food, and shelter

You’ll also need to prove causation. Some residents already have preexisting injuries or illnesses. You’ll need to prove the neglect or abuse caused damages.

Gather evidence for economic and non-economic damages. For example, you can use medical bills or use a medical expert as a witness. You can also depose family members or someone who witnessed the effects of the nursing home neglect.

Finding a Lawyer

Proving negligence in nursing homes is sometimes difficult, especially if your loved one has a preexisting condition. Make sure to hire a lawyer right away. With their help, you’ll have a better chance of proving negligence.

Look for a lawyer who specializes in nursing home neglect. How much experience do they have? How many cases similar to yours have they handled in that time?

Choosing an experienced lawyer will give you peace of mind. Otherwise, you could choose a general lawyer who lacks the experience and expertise you need.

Make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest laws and procedures that are relevant to your case as well.

To narrow down your options, head online. Look for references and reviews for each lawyer. Learning about their past experience can help inform your decision.

With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can prove the nursing home breached the expected standard of care and caused your loved one harm. 

Negligence in Nursing Homes: You’re Guide for Making a Case

Think you have a case on your hands? We can help!  Call 777-JOHN.

Contact us today to discuss your nursing home negligence case.

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