Is Nursing Home Abuse Common?
As people age and become more dependent on others to take care of their daily needs, they and their loved ones must make a decision about how to care for them. People who opt for nursing homes and residential care facilities have to consider many factors including the safety of the facility. The elderly are vulnerable and at risk of exploitation and abuse. Unfortunately, some of the exploitation and abuse they suffer is at the hands of family members. However, when a family entrusts the care of their loved one to a nursing home and their loved one suffers abuse, it can be very devastating. Ensure that you or your loved one receives the justice you deserve by hiring a trusted nursing home abuse lawyer.
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing Home Justice reports that in 2020, over 15,000 complaints filed with nursing home ombudsmen were about abuse or neglect. Elderly nursing home residents with poor mental and physical health are at greater risk of being abused and exploited by nursing home staff and other residents.
A 2018 National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) report shows that about a third of the nursing home complaints received were for physical abuse. Other reasons for complaints include resident-on-resident physical or sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and gross neglect.
Who is Responsible for the Safety of Your Loved One in a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes and residential care facilities usually have administrators who oversee the management of the facilities. They make decisions to ensure that residents receive quality care, and coordinate with other professionals to deliver the care that a resident requires. Administrators are also in charge of hiring competent staff to care for the residents in the facility. If there are any allegations of misconduct, the administrators are also required to investigate them and take appropriate action to ensure that the health and safety of residents are not compromised.
Who May Be Legally Liable for Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Abuse?
When a resident suffers harm in a nursing home, any person responsible for the harm they suffered may be held legally liable. Nursing homes are usually staffed with different parties whose actions may contribute to the injury or death of a resident. These may include:
- Doctors and Physicians Assistants (PAs)
- Nursing staff
- Non-skilled caregivers
- Contracted vendors
- Maintenance staff
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer or supervisor can be held legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent. Under this doctrine, nursing homes and their parent companies, as employers, can be held legally responsible for the acts of their employees that result in the injury or death of a resident.
Nursing homes are also required to comply with federal laws that specify the staffing levels that must be maintained in every facility. Low staffing levels lead to frustration and employee dissatisfaction, which may impact resident care. Failure to comply with these laws may also be grounds for holding the nursing home or its parent company legally liable for damages resulting from abuse. Failure to properly train employees is another issue that can result in legal liability for a nursing home.
If a nursing home failed to care for you or your loved one resulting in abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any damages suffered including medical expenses and pain and suffering. The Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers at Rosenbaum & Associates are experienced at handling nursing home abuse cases, and we can help you get justice in your case. We offer free consultations and if we take on your case, you pay no fees unless we win. Call us today at 215-569-0200 to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our skilled attorneys.