A nursing home is a residential facility designed to provide resources for adults who require assistance with issues like health care, mobility, personal hygiene and dressing. Nurses and other personnel are available 24/7 to provide this level of care.
In most cases, these homes do a fantastic job of providing care to their residents. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home injuries are often the result of abuse or negligence. Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to nursing home injuries.
What Are the Rights of Nursing Home Residents?
From a legal standpoint, Florida nursing home residents have the right not to be abused on a financial, emotional, physical or mental level. They have the right to receive the necessary services to maintain their bodily health and mental well-being.
Residents must have constant access to a physician and pharmacist for treatment and medical prescriptions. Nursing home patients also have the right to refuse treatments, and they can give someone power of attorney to plan their health care.
Beyond that, nursing home residents also have the right to receive information about their medical care and to maintain private personal communications. They have the right to not fear repercussions from expressing themselves, and they also have access to community and religious activities. All nursing home staff has a duty to never violate the personal rights of their patients and residents.
Who Can Pursue Civil Action in a Nursing Home Injury Case?
A nursing home injury case can be brought by a nursing home resident who feels he or she has experienced a violation of rights. However, family members can file a case on the resident’s behalf, especially if the victim’s death was caused by neglect or abuse.
What Are Signs and Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Close friends and family members are often the ones who spot the signs of nursing home abuse or negligence, which may include bedsores, errors in medication and dehydration. There are actually different types of nursing home abuse that result in injury:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Misuse of restraints
- Property abuse
- Medical neglect
One of the biggest signs of nursing home abuse is a change in emotional state, mood or attitude. You might notice your loved one becoming more fearful because of the neglect or abuse they have experienced in what is supposed to be a place of residence and peace. This may be the result of staff members snapping at, isolating or ignoring residents.
Personal hygiene is often a source of nursing home neglect or abuse as well. Residents deserve access to bathing, tooth brushing, clean facilities and adequate laundry services. Dirty clothes, dental issues and inappropriate living conditions are clear signs that something may not be right.
In some cases, nursing home abuse results from a lack of providing basic essentials. These include things like food and water, resulting in malnourishment and dehydration. Safety is also considered a basic need, so wandering off or being attacked by another nursing home resident may also be considered abuse or neglect.
Medical neglect also often results in nursing home injury. If you or a loved one has experienced bed sores, infection, lack of medication, cuts or mobility issues, the neglect and abuse may be a contributing factor.
What Does the Personal Injury Lawyer Need to Establish?
If you bring a nursing home injury case to court, your lawyer will be required to demonstrate that you or your loved one’s rights were violated. This includes proving that the nursing home had a responsibility to the resident but violated or breached that duty. The lawyer must also show that because of this breach of duty, you or your loved one has experienced loss.