Protecting The Elderly: When Nursing Homes Are Not Safe
As we age, many of us face increasing challenges ranging from physical restrictions to mental limitations. In some cases, families turn to nursing homes to provide the care our older family members require on a daily basis. But when the safety of these family members is compromised, a consultation with a local personal injury attorney may be in order.
Some of the experiences our elderly friends experience in nursing homes are absolutely distressing. Some of the most troubling cases in recent times include:
- A Florida assisted living facility was the scene of a vicious attack captured on video. The recordings show an 86-year-old man being punched at least 50 times by a fellow resident, undeterred by staff. Why didn’t staff intervene? No one was in the area; nor was anyone monitoring the common area where the attack took place. After approximately two minutes of punching, the elderly woman suffered pain, swelling and bruising.
- At the same facility, a different resident experienced a head injury following a fall, but was not hospitalized. The “first aid” provided entailed wiping blood from the woman’s head and hands. Within hours, the woman passed away.
- Hidden cameras revealed a nursing home resident being pushed into a chair and hit on the head by a certified nursing assistant. Later, the 94-year-old man was soaked with mouthwash.
- A nursing aid removed the breathing tube from a patient, prompting alarms to ring. Fully five minutes later, another employee became aware of the problem and reinserted the tube.
What is at the root of these problems?
When facilities fail, resulting in substandard care, we want to know the reasons behind the problems. One administrator blames breakdowns in quality service on poor training and inadequate staffing. But the problems often go well beyond these issues. We know that over 1,000 nursing homes across the country have had federal investigations relating to rape and sexual assault in recent years, and there are plenty of cases of cruel treatment by monstrous workers in these facilities. So how can consumers flesh out problems before they get out of hand?
Warning signs to watch for
If you have concerns about the care your loved one is receiving, watch out for these signs of serious problems:
- Considerable changes in physical, mental or emotional health;
- Inability to get direct answers to your questions from staffers;
- Complaints from your loved one about particular staffers;
- Chaotic environment with long delays in response to call lights;
- The staff seems overwhelmed or there is frequent turnover;
- You sense that something is just not right.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If your loved one has suffered improper or negligent care that has resulted in significant harm or death, you are no doubt overwhelmed with feelings of anger, resentment, sorrow or guilt. The fact of the matter is, the facility in which you entrusted your loved one has a duty to provide reasonable care. If that care was lacking, the facility, or individuals who worked there, may be liable for damages. Contact the experienced team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton to discuss your legal options today in a free, confidential consultation.