In an ideal world, all families would have the time and money to care personally for their elderly parents and loved ones. However, the realities of modern life often require families to rely on nursing homes and assisted living facilities to look after their elder relatives. The goal of nursing home care is to provide personalized and professional attention to elderly citizens who cannot otherwise fully care for themselves.
Today, large corporations own many of our nursing homes. Unfortunately, many of these corporations prioritize earning profits rather than providing adequate and quality care. Given this fact, many nursing homes are understaffed, overpopulated and poorly supervised. This means that some elderly residents may not receive the focused and specialized care that they require. There is also an increased possibility that an elderly person will become the victim of nursing home negligence. This negligence may occur in many different ways, some of which include:
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, we are completely dedicated to defending the rights of the elderly. If you have an elderly friend or relative that you suspect has been the victim of nursing home negligence, contact Sweeney Merrigan Law today at 617-391-9001. Our personal injury attorneys in Boston will immediately investigate your claim and take every step necessary to ensure that your loved ones receive both the treatment and respect that they deserve.
Nursing home negligence refers to a nursing home facility or any of its staff members failing to fulfill the expected standards of resident care, often resulting in harm to the resident. The expected standards of care come from federal and state nursing home laws as well as ethical obligations. Nursing homes in Boston have a legal responsibility to provide for elderly residents’ physical, emotional and psychosocial needs. Breaching this duty of care is neglect. Some nursing homes are aware of neglect and continue allowing it to happen, while others may not recognize their shortcomings. Neglect is unacceptable in both cases.
As soon as you recognize or hear about nursing home neglect, initiate an investigation into the facility by notifying the nursing home and/or the police depending on the severity of the situation. Always report nursing home negligence. Officials will inspect the nursing home and intervene to help residents. They may force the nursing home to make changes that prevent future acts of neglect, such as hiring more staff members. In the meantime, you may take your loved one out of the nursing home to someplace safe. If neglect harmed your loved one, discuss the possibility of a lawsuit with our lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP. Holding a nursing home responsible through a lawsuit can bring your loved one justice and promote a safer facility in the future.
Reporting nursing home neglect can help your loved one and other individuals in the facility’s care. It can also lead to long-term and future changes in how the nursing home operates, helping to ensure the health and safety of seniors in the community. As soon as you recognize potential signs of neglect, report them to an administrator at the nursing home. In extreme cases, call 911 for an immediate investigation of the nursing home. You may also need to involve local social service workers. You can contact multiple authorities if desired. Report nursing home neglect and abuse to your local Long Term Care Ombudsman program as well. This program has advocates who hear and respond to concerns from older adults.
Nursing home neglect can take many forms. In general, any failure to meet the basic standards of care at a nursing home is neglect. The three main categories of neglect are physical, emotional and psychosocial. Physically neglecting a nursing home resident can refer to leaving him or her alone for too long, ignoring dirty adult diapers, failing to maintain personal hygiene standards, withholding food or water, or ignoring medical needs. Physical neglect can be a form of abuse if it is intentional.
Emotional neglect at a nursing home is the failure to fulfill residents’ mental and emotional needs. This can involve isolating or physically restraining a nursing home resident, ignoring the resident’s needs, yelling at or berating the resident, speaking in a harsh tone, or humiliating the resident. Psychosocial neglect refers to ignoring the resident’s social needs. Elderly individuals need social connections and stimulation to maintain healthy mental statuses. Ignoring these needs or withholding social interactions is nursing home neglect.
Neglect at a nursing home can negatively impact residents in many ways. Signs can be physical or emotional. A neglected nursing home resident might appear unkempt, dirty or in the same clothes repeatedly. Signs may show in the victim’s physical appearance, such as in unexplained weight loss, an increase in injuries, infections, malnourishment, loose or yellow skin, and parched lips. A neglected nursing home resident could also exhibit mental and emotional signs of neglect, such as depression, anxiety, fear, withdrawal, isolation, mental health declines, and suicidal thoughts or actions. If you notice any potential signs of nursing home neglect, contact us right away for a free consultation about your family’s legal options in Boston.