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CHICAGO, IL, January 20, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Further, the nursing home has the obligation to screen its employees and monitor them to ensure that they are carrying out their jobs properly. When a nursing home fails in its obligations it can result in serious physical and psychological harm to those people who have been entrusted to its care.
What is nursing home abuse and how may it be detected?
Nursing home abuse occurs when an employee of the nursing home abuses an elderly resident either physically or psychologically. It could be the result of any number of things ranging from improper screening or training of staff to a shortage of employees that leads the staff to begin experiencing frustration with the residents. Abuse is generally a little bit easier to detect than neglect or negligence because it will frequently leave physical signs or result in telling emotional responses on the part of the elderly resident.
If an elderly resident begins displaying bruises, welts, or other unexplained signs of injury, it may be a sign of physical abuse. Even more telling is the behavior of a nursing home resident. If he or she suddenly exhibits a change in behavior or seems jumpy around certain members of the staff, it may be an indication that the resident is suffering abuse.
Other indicia could include sudden and unexplained mood swings, loss of appetite, or any new behavior for which there is no explanation. Remember that most of the elderly residents cannot just tell you that they are suffering from abuse - although if they do tell you this, you should certainly take the information seriously - so you will need to pay careful attention to the resident's physical condition and demeanor, and pay close attention to any sudden unexplained changes.
Nursing Home Neglect and Negligence
In contrast, neglect and negligence can be more difficult to detect. These situations arise when the nursing home staff is not paying proper or adequate attention to the residents.
Negligence is when a member of the nursing home staff has a duty to act or refrain from acting and he or she fails to act and, as a result, a resident runs the risk of suffering harm. For example, if a nursing home employee is supposed to use a certain piece of equipment to keep residents from falling out of their chairs and fails to do so, negligence has occurred. Another example of negligence would be leaving a door unlocked when it should be locked and, consequently, residents are placed in danger.
Neglect is similar to negligence, except that neglect generally involves a duty to provide a certain level of care to a nursing home resident. If a nursing home employee fails to provide the generally accepted level of care in a given situation, it is neglect. An example is failing to check on a resident as frequently as the employee is supposed to.
Signs of negligence and neglect are often in the form of sudden unexplained injuries to elderly residents. For example, if a maintenance closet is left unlocked and a resident wanders in and injures himself (or herself) this would be a sign of negligence. Or, if a resident is left unsupervised for an extended period of time and ends up falling and being injured, this would be a sign of neglect.
Other signs of neglect include the development of injuries that result from a person being left in the same position for extended periods of time. Rashes, bedsores, and similar injuries are all evidence that the resident is suffering from neglect.
Causes of negligence and neglect can include improper staffing levels of the nursing home. If a given facility needs a certain number of employees to run properly, but the management only hires 80% of the needed workers, cases of negligence and neglect are likely to result.
Another cause is improper training of staff. Some nursing home employers may quite innocently engage in negligent activities (such as leaving certain doors unlocked) simply because they have not been trained on the matter. Likewise, they may accidentally engage in neglect (although this is less likely) because they were never trained on the frequency with which certain activities should be performed.
The remedies for abuse can range from civil liability to criminal charges. If you detect abuse you should immediately inform the appropriate authorities and take steps to protect the residents of the nursing home. Governmental agencies may impose fines on the nursing home, and the nursing home may also be subject to civil lawsuits on behalf of those abused.
In cases of negligence and neglect, the nursing home will likely be subject to civil liability. In particularly egregious cases criminal liability may be the outcome.
If you believe you have a loved one suffering from one of these conditions, contact us today. We would be happy to talk with you and help you explore your options. You can learn more @ www.getthecannon.com
CONTACT OUR FIRM FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
If you believe that your nursing home facility has committed abuse, neglect or negligence to you, or a loved one, contact Karchmar & Lambert, P.C. We help people and families throughout Illinois - call (312) 977-1300. You can also email us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse, neglect and negligence lawyer. Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing unless your claim is successful and results in compensation.
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