Nursing Home Negligence And Elder Abuse In Alberta
According to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council, approximately 23,000 Alberta seniors experience some form of negligence or abuse. This includes:
- Physical abuse
- Withholding or providing improper or inadequate food and
- Withholding or providing improper or inadequate medical care or medication .
All these incidents can, and unfortunately do, occur in long-term care facilities. If you suspect your loved one is being subject to mistreatment, neglect, negligence, or other misconduct, it is imperative to take action right away to ensure their safety, including consulting with a lawyer with significant experience assisting families in such situations.
How To Take Action Against Nursing Home Negligence
When neglect or mistreatment does occur, its important to act quickly and decisively to prevent further harm. The first course of action is to report any incident of neglect to facility administrators or the authorities.
After filing the initial report, the next step may be to get legal advice from an experienced attorney.
Through civil lawsuits, nursing homes can be held legally liable for the harm residents suffered due to neglect. In cases where the resident has died because of the action or inaction of the nursing home staff, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
Fall Related Injuries In Nursing Homes
If a nursing home patient falls, they can suffer serious injuries due to general frailness and weakness at their old age. According to data from the CDC, common fall-related injuries among elderly residents include:
- Broken bones in the pelvis, spine, hands, wrists, forearms, etc.
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries, which are most commonly caused by falling
- Severe bruising
Falls are extremely serious for nursing home patients because of their age and fragility. Their bodies will struggle to heal as quickly and completely as younger bodies. Additionally, if the elderly person already struggled with preexisting medical conditions, their recovery may be extremely slow and painful. For example, osteoporosis, malnutrition, blood vessel disease, a weak immune system, etc., can greatly disrupt a seniors healing capacity. Depending on how serious the fall was, some elderly people may never recover. If this is the case with your loved one, you need a San Antonio nursing home abuse lawyer on your side.
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Can I Sue For Nursing Home Falls
Yes, you can sue for falls and any other type of nursing home abuse. Assisted living facilities are legally responsible for incidents like this, especially when its proven that they dont take proper care to prevent falls. Skilled nursing facilities and their staff members can be held liable by a senior citizens family members if:
- Lack of supervision and assistance, generally caused by understaffing, led to one or more falls
- Medication errors led to one or more falls
- Poorly trained nursing home staff led to one or more falls
- Environmental hazards in nursing homes led to one or more falls
- The nursing home failed to implement and follow the patients care plan that was recommended by a medical professional
How The Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys At The Lawrence Firm Can Help
At The Lawrence Firm, our legal team strongly believes that the elderly deserve the utmost respect and dignity and that their mistreatment goes far beyond illegal to immoral. By terms of their state licenses, skilled care facilities are required to provide an accepted standard of care at all times. When they do not and injury or death occurs as a result, they have violated the terms of their license. Equally important is that they have violated the trust of their patients and their patients families.
In addition to obtaining medical records and fighting on behalf of the victim, our Ohio and Kentucky nursing home abuse attorneys have access to professional medical witnesses who can testify in court and explain how the nursing homes negligence caused your loved ones injuries. This testimony may be critical to the success of your nursing home abuse lawsuit. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at The Lawrence Firm immediately to schedule a free consultation if you feel your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. You can reach us by calling or by completing our online intake form found below.
Allow us to help you obtain the justice you and your loved one deserve.
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Occurs More Often Than You Can Believe
Sadly, mistakes made by nursing home staff happen far too frequently. If you discover your relative has been neglected or abused, staff may excuse their behavior by blaming it on the advanced age of the resident. This is plainly false. Most traumas caused to residents are due to negligence by nursing home staff and include:
What Is Considered Nursing Home Negligence
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
In 2012, 95% of nursing home residents complained of experiencing or witnessing neglect while staying in a nursing home. Although it is sometimes complicated to prove negligence in all these cases, this statistic is extremely troubling. Any nursing home facility, elder facility, or convalescent home can be sued if there is a lapse of care for the patient that leads to patient harm.
Caring for the elderly in long-term care facilities is a very demanding and challenging job. Negligence can occur when an accident happens, an employee is lax in their duties, or purposely imposes harm on a patient or fails to act appropriately in a crisis. The facility itself can also be found negligent if there are not practices and policies in place to ensure the health and safety of the patients and residents.
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Forms Of Nursing Home Abuse
Even though neglect is often seen as a form of elder abuse, it can sometimes be less direct than its counterparts. While neglect can be intentional , it is mainly the result of untrained personnel and gross negligence. Most types of elder abuse involve active wrongdoing of the nursing facility or caregiver. These forms of elder abuse can be:
- Physical Abuse – Kicking, pushing, slapping, bruising
- Psychological Abuse – verbal harassment, taunting, isolation
- Financial Abuse – stealing funds, scamming, embezzlement
- Sexual Abuse
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect
According to the Administration on Aging, nursing home abuse is defined as intentionally causing physical harm or mental anguish on a resident of a long-term care facility. This is a particularly broad statement, as nursing home neglect or abuse can take on a variety of different forms. More specifically, nursing home abuse may include:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse occurs when pain or injury is inflicted upon the resident. Examples may include hitting, shoving, squeezing, and kicking, to name a few. However, physical abuse is not limited to actual physical assault or battery and doesnt always require physical contact. Things like force-feeding and overmedicating can also be considered physical abuse.
- Mental Abuse: There are many different types of mental abuse. In a nursing home, mental abuse can take the form of verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse. This may include things like threats, seclusion, caustic remarks, or insults. Emotional manipulation, which occurs when a staff member wrongfully influences a resident for their own personal gain, is also a form of mental abuse. Nursing home residents, for example, may be coerced into overlooking abuse due to the fear of not being fed, washed, groomed, or otherwise properly cared for.
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Nursing Home Neglect Versus Abuse
Many people think nursing home abuse only describes physical injuries and do not realize that neglect is a type of abuse as well.
A staff member who intentionally fails to care for a resident should be held responsible if their actions lead to harm or a wrongful death.
Even accidental nursing home neglect can be harmful in serious cases. For example, giving an older adult the wrong dose of medication can have life-threatening consequences.
How Common Is Elder Neglect
Nursing home neglect is all too common. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 15.3% of elder abuse complaints are for neglect. And in a 2020 survey from the World Health Organization , 12% of nursing home employees admitted to neglecting residents.
Finally, only 5% of respondents had never experienced or witnessed neglect in one study of 2,000 nursing home residents.
Sadly, caregiver neglect is one of the most underreported forms of elder abuse, according to the U.S. Department of Justice . For every one case that is reported, 57 go unreported.
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We Support Your Loved Ones
Negligence and abuse within nursing homes is a reality for too many New York families. With the utmost sensitivity and compassion for your situation, we will work with your family to determine who may be liable for your loved ones injuries and what compensation you may be eligible for to pay for the damages suffered during this challenging time.
Contact Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP to review your case and explore your options for seeking justice for your loved ones injuries. Call us at for a free consultation.
Mistakes When Giving Medication
The duties of a nurse are many, including giving the patient medication. Negligence in nursing could arise from a situation where they do not pay due attention to what they provide the patients with. A mistake could have severe repercussions on the health of the patient.
The injury could result from improper dosage resulting in over or under medication for malpractice in nursing. In some situations, the nurse can even confuse what medicine to give the patient. Other times they will not provide a specific drug. The nurse should also confirm that the patient does not have any allergies when administering the dosage.
If an injury results out of this, you can file a medical malpractice suit against the negligence in nursing examples.
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Common Types Of Elder Negligence
The duty of care lies on nursing home workers. These health care providers must take reasonable actions to protect residents from foreseeable injury, or may be held liable for medical malpractice if they breach this duty of care.
Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Can Include:
- Failure to Diagnose
- Failure to Provide Medical Care
Although it varies from state to state, in Maryland negligence or negligence of a resident can be defined as any physical, sexual, mental, or verbal mistreatment. The improper use of restraints, medications, or seclusion also qualify as nursing home or assisted living facility negligence.
Neglect Of Personal Hygiene
When staff members neglect the personal hygiene of residents, it can affect their appearance and health. Poor hygiene in nursing homes can even have life-threatening consequences.
Neglect of personal hygiene may include:
- Failing to change a seniors clothes regularly
- Not regularly checking in on residents
- Not changing the clothing or bedding of seniors who soil themselves
- Not properly bathing a senior
A 78-year-old nursing home resident thought he went blind as his eyes were crusted shut due to a lack of care from staff. He also had untrimmed nails that were so long that they curled, and his head was covered in bruises from falling.
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Why Hire A Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
An experienced lawyer can help you determine if your loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect, and help you get the most from your claim.
There are many challenges to processing claims of nursing home negligence. You need a practised lawyer on your side to help you navigate the claim and get the maximum possible compensation for your loved one or surviving family members.
Its important to understand that Gerard Malouf & Partners can only address nursing home neglect, not nursing home abuse.
Abuse cases should be followed up with the appropriate authorities. Examples of abuse, as opposed to neglect, include:
Physical abuse of elderly patients
Abuse is done either with malicious intent, such as striking or slapping a resident or punishing them in other physical ways. Physical abuse can also be humiliating.
Emotional abuse and non-verbal abuse of elderly patients
This can include speaking derogatorily about a resident in their hearing or otherwise, hateful attitudes toward residents, rolling of the eyes, frowning and/or glaring when dealing with a residents needs, and other emotional and non-verbal unkindness.
Sexual abuse of the elderly
Sadly, the elderly are often targets for sexual abuse in facilities, as they are vulnerable and may be threatened into not reporting or are unable to report the abuse. Watch for signs like fearfulness, bruises in odd places, and repeated UTIs.
Abuse of elderly patients with Alzheimers disease
What Needs To Be Proved In A Medical Neglect Claim Against A Nursing Home
Nursing homes that fail to abide by regulations and neglect their residents may be held liable for medical neglect. In general, a plaintiff must prove the nursing homes duty, the nursing homes breach of duty in the care and treatment of a resident, injury or death to the resident, and a causal link from the breach of duty to the harm. A central issue of most medical neglect claims is whether the person who neglected the resident acted in the same way a reasonable caregiver would have acted under the same circumstances.
Some common situations in which medical neglect claims have been appropriate involve overmedicating or under-medicating, failure to recognize a patients dehydration or malnutrition and take steps to correct it, and failure to send a patient to a hospital when necessary. Common signs of neglect include bedsores and unexplained falls.
Sometimes, a nursing home abuse lawsuit alleging medical neglect will also include a medical malpractice claim against a doctor or nurse. Medical malpractice may be alleged directly against the doctor. Sometimes there are too few doctors to provide proper care, or the doctor in charge of a particular resident does not provide medical treatment at the appropriate standard.
For more information about medical malpractice law, visit Justias Medical Malpractice Center.
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Whats The First Step To Filing A Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit
The first step to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit is to connect with a law firm.
Nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at these firms can assess your case for free and determine what actions you can take. From there, they can help you file a lawsuit if you qualify. There are never any upfront costs to work with a lawyer.
Learn more about working with a lawyer today get a free case review.
How To React To Nursing Home Negligence
When it comes to nursing home negligence, the harm done can be slow to build over time or culminate in an acute event. Your loved one may not be able to clearly communicate what is happening or maybe too afraid to tell you openly.
Its important to pay close attention to signs of neglect or elder abuse and be proactive in addressing any issues with the correct authorities. If you find that your aged family member has been subjected to nursing home neglect, both they and you have the right to compensation through a negligence claim.
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Rules On Filing A Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit
If you believe your loved one or family member is being abused or neglected in any way, the nursing home and its staff should be held accountable for their actions. A negligence suit may be brought if there is a failure to provide a reasonably safe environment, failure to maintain adequate health and safety policies or failure to provide the required standard of care and medical treatment. However, state-specific laws will vary, and as such, consulting with a lawyer practicing in elder abuse prevention will be of great help to protecting yourself or your patient.
Neglect Of Basic Living Needs
With this type of neglect, the nursing home or its staff fail to keep the facility and its amenities safe.
This may include:
- Failing to keep the nursing home at a normal temperature
- Not cleaning common areas or residents rooms on a regular basis
- Providing seniors unsafe or inadequate food and water
During the COVID-19 pandemic, an elderly woman died at a nursing home due to dehydration. The womans daughter believes that staff were too overwhelmed by the pandemic to provide her with enough water.
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Medical Negligence In A Nursing Home Setting
Medical malpractice at rehab centers is often detected in different forms like a lack of medical treatment, understaffing problems, unexpected weight loss, sexual abuse, broken bones, physical abuse, malnutrition, medication errors, and the common signs of emotional abuse.
It is plausible to claim that nearly all legal actions against a health care facility, including pressure ulcers and other nursing home neglect cases, can be a medical malpractice case. Alternatively, the specifics of the medical care could be at issue in the legal proceedings.
For example, the physician could have missed a medical issue by failing to diagnose it and obtain the resident’s proper treatment. Another example would be when the physician gives the resident treatment orders, but the staff fails to follow those orders in whole or in part when treating the resident.
Another example is when a caregiver fails to communicate changes in the resident’s condition to the physician so the medical professional can diagnose and treat the condition.
Sample Medical Malpractice Lawsuits & Settlements Against Nursing Homes
Below are some examples of successful lawsuits filed against nursing homes that involved a claim of medical malpractice.
Jury verdict for $10.2 million in California Plaintiff’s attorneys filed a civil lawsuit for a premature minor nursing home resident who had a seizure disorder. The nursing staff routinely administered anti-seizure medication.
The medical malpractice lawsuit was based on the facility’s failure to administer the minor’s anti-seizure medication as ordered, resulting in a seizure. The nursing home denied that the resident missed a dose of medication.
A punitive award of $4.5 million was included in the damages. For more information on California nursing homes, look here.
Jury verdict for $2 million in New York An eloping resident left the nursing facility and was found a day later. While gone, the resident developed pneumonia and sepsis, which ultimately led to his death.
The medical malpractice allegedly occurred when doctors implanted a shunt to use for dialysis. However, the shunt created a pathway for bacteria to enter the child’s body.
The resident’s family also claimed that staff’s medication error led to the child’s congestive heart failure, which caused the resident to feel like he was drowning for the last eight days of his life. For more information on New York nursing homes, look here.
There was no autopsy to establish the cause of death, but the nursing home settled the case without admitting liability.
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