It’s not always easy to take care of your aging parents and relatives. Playing the role of caregiver, especially for an extended period of time, will take its toll. For this reason, and others, the option of nursing home placement is considered and agreed upon by siblings, and other family members. You expect a certain level of care to come from the medical staff at a nursing home. And while many nurses and caregivers do a phenomenal job, some resort to abuse and neglect. You may see visible signs of this, or your loved one might recount a situation that leaves you uneasy. But how do you prove it so justice can be done?
Examples Of Nursing Home Abuse
There may be some questions surrounding what exactly constitutes abuse in the nursing home. The key to this claim is the intentionality of the act. Purposeful assault of the mental, physical, and sexual nature, also including seclusion and intimidation tactics are accepted as grounds to claim abuse. Grandma might tell you that the nurse pinched her, threatened her, or took her food away before she was done eating. Grandpa could say that the nurse’s aide handled him roughly, unapologetically. Improper touching when bathing and even rape have been known to occur. Avoid downplaying the complaints of the elderly. Take their word for it and begin your quest to prove the truth of their statements.
Proving Your Case
Duty Of Care
Firstly, you need to prove your duty of care. This should be easily done as entrance into nursing homes are usually contractual. Once a contract is signed, the medical staff are under a legal obligation to fulfill their responsibilities of care. A doctor who is independently contracted but implicated in the mistreatment of your loved one will require some extra-legal finessing to convict.
Make an effort to visit the nursing home more often. Yes, you want to spend more time with your elderly relative but you also want to catch in-person evidence of nursing home abuse and neglect. Walk with a camera or use your smartphone to snap photos of everything you find unacceptable.
Speak to other nursing home residents and the people who visit them. There will be times when situations of nursing home abuse occur outside of your presence. While the employees may not come clean and relay to you something which took place, the residents are more likely to be on your side.
Hire A Lawyer
Attorneys know their way around the law better than ordinary civilians. Don’t fight these organizations alone. Your personal lawyer can guide you on the proper steps to take to prove the case and to safeguard your loved one. If your elderly relative suffered an injury at the hands of staff or was left to their own devices for an extended period leading to the development of bodily damage, contact the Spiva Law Group for immediate assistance. Many times the aged suffer falls that can result in fractures, head and brain trauma, spinal injury, and even wrongful death. Should any of these befall a vulnerable person entrusted to the care of medical professionals, take the firm stand and move forward with medical malpractice litigation.
Comb Through Ombudsman Complaints
If the staff is taking disgusting liberties with your family member or friend, you can be sure that this is not the first time such has occurred. There will be, posted online, complaints against the nursing home and maybe more specifically against some members of staff. Finding other persons who have experienced a similar situation to yours proves that the institution has a history of poor quality care.
Review Medical Records
Medical professionals have a duty to make note of all medications and actions taken with every patient. These documents are legally binding. Review your loved one’s medical chart. If you cannot understand the medical jargon, enlist the help of your attorney. Look for incorrect medication calculations, inconsistencies with treatments, and documentation of visible injuries. Take note of how often water was given and how frequently meals were provided. All of these details should be included in the file.
Abuse and neglect come in a variety of ways. Some will result in visible effects but others take on a more profound psychological hurt. Help the elderly by first believing their stories of nursing home abuse and then following up in concrete ways to collect the evidence you need to build a case. The persons responsible should not escape unpunished and if the case is severe enough, their medical license should be revoked.