Moving a parent or loved one into a nursing home is a difficult transition for everyone. Once you’ve entrusted your elderly relative to the nursing home’s care, you have the right to expect that your relative will receive needed quality healthcare. Nursing homes sometimes fail to meet the standard of care that you hope for, but it’s even more difficult when a nursing home is actually negligent in its provision of care. If you believe your loved one was injured by nursing home neglect, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. Neglect in a nursing home is simply unacceptable, and your elderly relative deserves better.
Duty of Care
The nursing home where your loved one resides owes all its residents a duty of care. This duty includes assessing each resident’s unique healthcare needs and implementing an individualized healthcare plan that facilitates the resident’s needs. Nursing homes are in the business of caring for the most vulnerable among us, the elderly, and when they fail to do so, it’s especially egregious.
If your loved one was injured by nursing home neglect, you need legal guidance. These often complicated claims are too important not to shed legal light on them. At the Law Firm of Ables & Annes in Chicago, we’re committed to helping you navigate your claim—in support of your loved one—toward just resolution.
A Claim of Neglect
If nursing home neglect has left your loved one injured, you probably don’t know where to turn. You and your family carefully chose a facility that you trusted to take excellent care of your elderly relative, and now that relative has suffered as a result. The emotional hurdle created by the ugliness of such a situation can prove especially difficult to overcome.
Nursing Home Neglect
Cases of nursing home neglect are each as unique as the individuals involved, but generally, they involve four main categories of neglect:
- Emotional or social. Social interaction and emotional support are important in everyone’s lives—maybe even more important in the lives of nursing home residents. Some nursing homes fail to provide this necessary means of human support. Nursing homes are naturally busy places with significant healthcare services to provide, and their staff members can become worn down by the hectic pace. Staff members who choose to take this out on residents whom they may identify as too needy commit social and emotional neglect.
- Personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is fundamental to everyone’s health and well-being, and again, this is especially true for nursing home residents who often depend upon the nursing home staff to help them with or to take care of these health essentials. Personal hygiene can include daily bathing, oral hygiene, laundry, and other basic daily rituals that represent the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. The neglect of these daily basics can result in significant health consequences.
- Basic needs. We all have basic needs that include adequate nutrition, hydration, and other essentials that contribute to safe and sanitary lives. Nursing homes that deprive their residents of these basic needs can cause devastating emotional and physical injuries.
- Medical care. Most, if not all, nursing home residents require some level of ongoing medical care—after all, a nursing home is a healthcare facility. When a nursing home fails to fulfill this fundamental responsibility telltale signs emerge, including infections, bedsores, cuts, diabetic complications, mobility issues, and signs of cognitive impairment, to name a few.
Nursing homes shoulder the lofty responsibility of caring for some of our most vulnerable and revered citizens, the elderly. This responsibility includes providing nursing home residents with the opportunity to live their lives as fully as possible, and when a healthcare facility fails to fulfill this duty, it can face legal action for negligence.
Be Alert to the Warning Signs
If you’re concerned that your elderly loved one may not receive necessary care or that the nursing home facility may neglect someone emotionally, act quickly. Though these cases can prove hard to substantiate, your relative deserves better. If you’re worried about negligence, watch out for if your relative:
- Suddenly gains or loses weight
- Experiences unexplained dehydrated or malnutrition
- Experiences unexplained bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Exhibits a marked change in mood, personality, or behavior
- Exhibits a marked change in social interactions with other residents
- Exhibits a marked change in appearance or personal hygiene
- Lives in hazardous quarters, such as with slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, dilapidated mobility devices, and unsafe furniture
The Nursing Home
The residents of a nursing home are dependent upon the facility and its staff, which is great at a well-run, well-managed nursing home that provides compassionate care. When the nursing home neglects its fundamental duties, however, it risks its residents’ health and well-being. Nursing home neglect can lead to disease, infections, injury, physical harm, mental health issues, and even death.
Some forms of nursing home neglect are physically apparent, which makes them less difficult to address, but other forms of neglect have psychological and emotional consequences that are much harder to identify. If you fear that your loved one is subjected to nursing home neglect, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Nursing home neglect is not acceptable, and a personal injury attorney will help you better understand your legal options.
If Your Loved One Is the Victim of Nursing Home Neglect, Consult a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Nursing home neglect claims are an especially egregious abdication of responsibility to some of our most vulnerable citizens. If your loved one has suffered nursing home neglect, you need legal counsel. The legal team at the Law Firm of Abels & Annes is here to aggressively advocate for your loved one’s rights. We’re here to help, so please contact us or call our office at (312) 924-7575 for a free consultation today.