Over the next 20 years in the United States, a larger number of people than this country has ever seen will utilize the care of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. As the demand on existing resources and the rush to profit from our aging population increases, these facilities will use hurriedly trained staffs and shoddily maintained facilities to seek their profits, at the expense of their patients’ safety. In these facilities, it is common for the people being cared for to be left alone for far too long, to be ignored, or to be dismissed as simply complaining when they discuss serious and sometimes life-threatening issues.
Making the decision to place a loved one that you can no longer care for in a nursing home is difficult and can bring much distress to you and your family. Although you do your best when vetting a nursing home and ensuring the facilities and staff will take proper care of your elderly loved one, you simply can’t predict the future. Even a facility that looks like it has more than adequate accommodations and a caring staff may have issues below the surface that leads to the neglect of their patients.
It’s impossible to anticipate many of the situations that occur in even nursing homes with the best reputation, such as dangerous medication errors or the employment of a new caretaker that has a hidden history of abusing patients.
A skilled nursing facility or nursing home wrongful death often involves an elderly resident left on their own for days at a time; a person who is not protected from falls or other injuries as required by the facility’s and a state’s guidelines; or a person who is ignored when they complain of an injury, and that injury cascades into a life-threatening situation. A nursing home or skilled nursing facility must follow both state and federal guidelines for care. This includes the number of medical professionals they have on staff, the number of trained caregivers available for each resident, and the number of hours those caregivers must spend with each patient.
Despite these laws, however, many nursing homes violate them out of what seems to be necessity. They may not be able to hire enough staff to ensure a proper and safe caregiver to patient ratio, or there may not be enough well-trained staff to train new hires in proper procedures. Many nursing homes that violate state and federal laws regarding care guidelines look fine on the surface, and families don’t know that something is wrong until it is too late and their loved one is seriously injured or passes away due to abuse or neglect.
There are many indicators that your loved one may be neglected or abused, including but not limited to:
If you notice any of the signs that your loved one may be suffering neglect or abuse in a nursing facility, it is critical that you reach out for help as soon as possible.
If your loved one was injured or has died as the result of elder abuse in a nursing home, contact a nursing home wrongful death lawyer in Salem, Massachusetts as soon as possible. Don’t delay – nursing homes often destroy evidence of any wrongdoing on their part, including falsifying records in order to make the injury or death appear as though it occurred naturally and not due to the nursing home’s negligence or carelessness. By hiring an attorney right away to work with you, you can help secure crucial evidence in your case before it is hidden or destroyed.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we fight to not only obtain justice for our clients through the courts, but to change the negligent practices of nursing homes to better protect you and the ones you love. We work hard to see to it that the nursing home responsible for harming your loved one is exposed for their carelessness and negligence and we utilize every legal option available to ensure that the nursing home is forced to adopt better care practices and follow all applicable laws so the same doesn’t happen to another resident and family.
In a nursing home abuse case, it is vitally important that we begin immediately assessing the situation so that we can bring in the proper experts and doctors to discuss your or your loved one’s situation, and be sure to make a positive change.