Posts tagged with "elderly"

This is why we focus on nursing home negligence cases

The common theme that my law firm sees when we handle nursing home cases is a lack of staff. That is to say, too many people in the nursing home and insufficient staff to care for those people.

There are telltale signs, so like anything else, your loved one is better taken care of if you are proactive in trying to determine whether if the nursing home is equipped to meet their needs.

Stop in and observe. How many people are actually on the floor? How many people are tending to nursing home patients? How many people may be wheeled in a wheelchair and left in the hallway unattended? Sometimes you hear alarms go off, but the staff doesn’t respond to it.

We project that this problem is going to get worse in the near future as the Baby Boomer generation comes to that age where they need nursing home care or assisted living care. The nursing homes just aren’t equipped to handle that influx of people.

That is unless they decide at some future time to add much more staff, which they are usually resistant to do. That’s because that would increase their costs and after all, this is a business to them and they’re trying to make a profit.

If someone you end up in this unfortunate situation, please give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 and we’ll be happy to let you know what your options are.

Understand the rights of nursing home residents

Nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse are extremely dangerous, primarily because nursing home residents are usually frail or in poor health to begin with, and they may be unable to defend themselves. We trust the care of our elderly loved ones to nursing homes because we want what is best for them; we want them to receive the specialized, constant care that they need. The last thing they deserve is to be treated with neglect or abuse.

One of the best ways to ensure that your loved one will receive the care that they need and not be mistreated in a nursing home is to employ the services of a home that is very clear and transparent with its treatment of residents. There are federal guidelines that establish the ways in which nursing homes must prohibit the mistreatment of residents, including development and implementation of written policies to ensure such abuse or neglect does not occur.

In addition to the written policies of the nursing home, which the resident is to be made aware of both upon admission and throughout residence, there are other rights that nursing home residents should not be denied. These include rights such as the ability to see family members, the use of personal possessions and clothing, equal treatment, confidentiality and much, much more.

If at any point your loved one is denied these rights, you should investigate the care they are receiving and consider taking legal action. Consulting with an attorney can give you a better understanding of how the law treats nursing home negligence, and can also help you receive compensation for any mistreatment your loved one received in the nursing home’s care.

How can I tell if my loved one’s nursing home is a safe place?

There are many nursing homes in the Boston area of Massachusetts, but naturally we all want what is best for our elderly loved ones. While most nursing homes are wonderful places full of caring staff members ready to provide the residents with whatever they might need, nursing home negligence and abuse are real issues that everyone should be aware of. Learning more about a nursing home before leaving your loved one in its care can go a long way in preventing abuse.

A great way to measure the quality of a nursing home is by using a checklist of things you should look for. It is not only a useful way to keep track of which nursing homes are better than others on paper, but it also provides you with questions you may not have even thought to ask. Nursing homes that answer yes to the majority of this checklist will likely be safe places where you can entrust the care of your loved ones without much worry.

Of course even nursing homes that meet every requirement could have outlying instances of abuse. It only takes one employee having a bad day or a short temper to lash out and mistreat one of the nursing home’s residents. This is why no matter how much you like your chosen nursing home, it is in your best interests to check up on your loved one often and thoroughly.

If you believe that your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney about nursing home negligence. Nursing home negligence is an awful issue that can make nursing home residents feel unsafe and frightened, and if you can make a successful case, you and your loved one could be compensated for the suffering.

Former nursing home employee convicted of abusing patient

Nursing homes provide a vital service for many Americans. In a world where more and more families are surviving on two incomes and healthcare is undergoing serious changes, the care of seniors has become relatively less reliable. Those who are concerned for the well-being of their elderly loved ones often turn to nursing homes to provide the seniors with the round-the-clock care they require. Unfortunately, trusting the care of your loved ones to strangers doesn’t always end well.

Back in 2012, a Massachusetts nursing home employee was allegedly caught assaulting a patient by his supervisor. Now, nearly three full years later, the now former employee has been convicted of assault and battery as well as caretaker abuse, but he was acquitted of his most serious charge: assault with intent to rape. He will be sentenced for his crimes next week.

Nursing home negligence is a frightening prospect for a number of reasons. Elderly nursing home patients are often powerless to defend themselves, with some not even aware that the abuse is happening depending on their state of health. Additionally, the abuse may go unnoticed if the patient is incapable of reporting the abuse. Individuals who have placed their loved ones in the care of a nursing home are encouraged to regularly check up on the patients and ensure that they are receiving optimal care.

If you suspect that your loved one is not receiving the care they need or the care they were promised, consider meeting with an attorney. The law protects seniors from being mistreated and taken advantage of in situations such as these, and though no money can make right the suffering of your loved one, it can help ensure that your loved one is given the proper care in the future.

Source: Greenfield Daily Reporter, “Ex-nursing home worker convicted of assault on patient, but acquitted of attempted rape,” March 31, 2015

Nursing homes may not be the best place for your loved one

As our loved ones grow older, they begin to require specialized care that we cannot provide both because we lack the expertise and we lack the time. This is why many people choose to trust the care of their elderly loved ones to a nursing home. In a nursing home, residents can receive the specialized care they need from medical professionals while also enjoying recreational activities with others of their age.

Unfortunately, even though we expect nursing homes to give us the peace of mind of knowing that they are being well cared for, this is not always the result. Some nursing home employees abuse their positions and mistreat their patients. Others take advantage of the elderly?s weakened physical state to sexually abuse them. Depending on the circumstances, you may not even know it is happening.

Much like victims of domestic abuse, nursing home residents who are being abused may be too frightened to report their abuse for fear that the harassment will get worse. For certain elder individuals, depending on the nature of their medical concerns, they may literally be unable to report the abuse. Of course, physical and sexual abuse are not the only issues that a nursing home resident might face.

We expect that the medical professionals working at a nursing home will provide top-notch care for our loved ones, but for one reason or another, they may not, even in a city like Boston. Dehydration or malnutrition are other types of abuse that nursing home residents may suffer. Visit our webpage for a more comprehensive list of nursing home abuse issues.

All of this is not meant to frighten you or discourage you from entrusting the care of your loved one to a nursing home, but instead to make you aware of the issues that your loved ones could face. It is important that you check up on your loved ones regularly and discover how they are being treated in their new home. If you believe that they are being mistreated, we can help you build a case against the nursing home and recover compensation for your loved one?s suffering.

Massachusetts nursing home found negligent in patient care

A common and unfortunate side effect of aging is a declining quality of life. Much as we may try to fight it, time inevitably takes its toll on our bodies and we begin to struggle with things that used to be second nature, from walking to eating and even to breathing without assistance. Watching this happen to our loved ones can be difficult. One of the roles that nursing homes are supposed to play is to help elderly individuals who are experiencing significant medical problems as they age. Sadly though, such homes sometimes fail to live up to the level of care expected of them.

If gone unchecked, nursing home negligence can lead to serious health problems and even death for residents.

In 2008, a 90-year-old nursing home patient was found to be suffering from kidney failure, acute appendicitis, severe dehydration and many other medical issues. Though she was treated for the injuries once they were discovered by a hospital, it was too late, and the woman ultimately died.

Recently, in a wrongful death case regarding the woman, a Massachusetts jury found the nursing home the woman was a resident of, which is now closed, to have been grossly negligent regarding the woman’s care and awarded the woman’s family $14 million, mostly for punitive damages. However, the woman’s youngest son was very clear that money does little to assuage the grief of knowing how much his mother suffered. While we hope that nobody ever has to suffer what the victim or her family endured, it is important to know that the law provides options for nursing home negligence victims and their families.

Too much care cannot be taken when it comes to finding the right nursing home for your loved ones. Still, the staff of the nursing home plays a massive part in how well the residents are cared for, and it’s impossible to be sure that every single staff member is fully committed to the job. If you worry that a loved one in a nursing home was treated with negligence or is currently being treated with negligence, strong legal counsel can help you figure out whether negligence has occurred and whether legal action is appropriate.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Jury awards $14m in 2008 death,” Kay Lazar, July 24, 2014

Nursing home cited for failing to protect against abuse

They’ve cared for you their entire lives — fed you, nursed your cuts and bruises, cried with you at life’s tragedies and rejoiced with you in all your victories. Parents give us life and dedicate their lives to ensuring we are cared for through every step of our journeys. So, it’s only right that we do the same for them when they reach an age where they can no longer care for themselves. The nation’s nursing homes fill this role for us when we can no longer do it and they have a sacred obligation to provide at least a reasonable standard of care for our loved ones.

Sadly that isn’t always the case. Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, a relatively common occurrence in Massachusetts and across the country. Following a May 19 incident, the state of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services cited an elder care facility for not being able to keep their residents from being abused. The citation is related to an incident in May that left bruises on one elderly patient in their care. Apparently, the staff got into a physical altercation with a resident that left him with the reported injuries.

Talks between the department and the facility’s doctor indicated that the man succumbed to the injuries incurred from the incident and other medical issues from which he was already suffering. He died June 3.

Cases like these are a sad reminder that sometimes nursing homes can be negligent and fail to provide proper care. Residents often suffer from physical and mental abuse because of a lack of safeguards or poorly trained staff.

Our loved ones should never have to suffer this type of abuse. If you suspect mistreatment, a Massachusetts attorney may be able to help you build a case.

Source: wxii12.com, “NC cites nursing home, alleges lack of abuse protection,” July 2, 2014

Nursing home alleged to have failed to report abuse for days

Nursing homes are charged with the most sacred of duties — taking care of the people who are most precious to us, people who have loved and taken care of us our entire lives. The elderly deserve the utmost respect and proper care. Sadly, nursing homes don’t always live up to this standard and sometimes fail to meet even a reasonable standard of care when it comes to their elderly residents.

Nursing home abuse and negligence is far too common in this country, and when it happens to a loved one, it can leave you feeling betrayed and angry. It has recently been alleged that a nursing home in North Carolina waited almost a week to report alleged abuse of those under its care. A male resident of the facility allegedly groped multiple female residents, and, according to reports, at least one employee saw the alleged abuse happen. Purportedly, the nursing home’s nursing director, facility administrator and executive director all became aware of the alleged sexual abuse soon after it allegedly occurred. The home, however, allegedly waited almost a week before telling police and families of the alleged abuse.

Families were upset about the purported delay in being informed. Had they known immediately, they could have been there sooner to comfort their family members.

The facility claimed that the delay occurred because it held off reporting until it checked out the accuracy of the abuse allegations.

This case didn’t happen in Massachusetts, but cases like these are sadly not uncommon here. If you suspect unreported abuse or you know a family member was abused at a nursing home, a Massachusetts attorney may be able to help you fight for compensation for your family member.

Source: wsoctv.com, “Nursing home under investigation after taking days to report abuse,” Dave Faherty, June 3, 2014

Lawmakers in another state focus on nursing home negligence

Lawmakers are now beginning to focus on care facilities for the elderly. Throughout the years there have been numerous reports about nursing home abuse and deadly conditions at elderly care facilities.

The current focus is on California, where changes have not been made to statutes regarding residential care since 1985. Lawmakers now want to start providing better protection for elderly citizens within the state. Lawmakers focusing their attention on the abuse occurring in elder care facilities is a good sign, and may encourage other states such as Massachusetts to follow suit.

The elderly may not be vocal, and when vocal, are often ignored. Family members have made claims of finding their loved ones suffering from bedsores or other serious injuries like broken bones, bone fractures or head injuries. Events have been cited of nursing home staff refusing to give their loved ones medical attention. Lawmakers’ current efforts are in an attempt to prevent this elder abuse from happening again.

It is necessary to trust elder care facilities, but with all of the reports on the amount of elder abuse that occurs, it is difficult to do so. Families should not have to worry about their loved ones suffering from a personal injury while they are not there. Nursing home staff needs to attend to any injured residents immediately, but it seems often that does not happen.

Lawmakers fighting for the protection of elderly citizens is a great step forward, but they cannot entirely prevent abuse from occurring. Nursing home staff may still ignore residents who are injured, or physically or emotionally abuse them. Filing a lawsuit against the negligent nursing home is a step toward protecting your elderly loved one. Most often, you are their strongest advocate and voice.

Source: Capitol Weekly, “Lawmakers target care facilities for the elderly,” Samantha Gallegos, Jan. 13, 2014