Admitting a loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult choice to make. You want to be sure that your elderly loved one will be cared for and looked after. Deaths in nursing homes can sometimes be a result of neglect and abuse inflicted onto the patient. In these situations the families and loved ones of victims can file wrongful death lawsuits against the nursing home. Immediate family members of the deceased, spouses, and distant family members are all able to file wrongful death lawsuits. The neglect and abuse that takes place in nursing homes sometimes goes unnoticed before it is too late. Physical signs of abuse are easier to notice, however verbal abuse is harder to catch.
Placing your loved one into a home does not always have to leave you feeling helpless. There are preventive measures you can take to protect your elderly loved one.
1. Conduct research
Before you admit your father, mother, or spouse into a home weigh your options. Consider a couple homes and select the one that would respond best to your current situation. Take into consideration the distance, amenities available, and of course cost. If possible conduct a couple google searches for lawsuits filed against the home in the past. Also look into comments that people have made about the home in previous years. Sometimes this information does not exist or is extremely difficult to find. However, if you are able to find this information carefully weigh this into your decision. Disgruntled individuals who have had negative experiences with certain nursing homes may have valid reasons for their unhappiness.
2. Look out for signs
When placing your loved one into a home be sure to consider their opinions and recommendations. After you have already admitted them and made a few visits be sure to ask them how they are adjusting. Ask if they are enjoying their time there and if it is an arrangement they are willing to continue. If they are unable to verbally communicate this to you look out for signs of abuse or neglect. If possible carefully and conspicuously check for recent bruising or marks. Survey the state of their living quarters, if there seems to be anything lacking or unkept then voice your concerns to staff. Follow through on the things you requested and adjustments you advised. Unfortunately, sometimes requests in nursing homes made the the families fall upon deaf ears. Advocate for your loved one if they are unable to do this for themselves.
3. Take Action
If you feel that your loved one is being abused or neglected in their home. Bedsores, bruising, cuts, falls, and malnutrition can all be forms of abuse. Take immediate action, ignoring the signs can end in a wrongful death. The first thing to do is to remove your loved one from the nursing home. Then document any injuries inflicted by taking pictures, after that hire legal counsel. Sometimes you may discover the abuse before it is too late, if this is the case you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you believe you have a wrongful death case contact us at Kyle Law for a free consultation.