Even though nursing home negligence may not be intentional, it can be just as damaging as nursing home abuse.
The CDC defines nursing home negligence as a failure to meet a resident’s basic needs. This includes not providing adequate food or water, as well as failing to attend to hygiene and medical care.
In the United States, 12% of nursing home staff members have admitted to being negligent of their elderly residents, and the consequences can be severe. For example, residents who have been victims of neglect are 300% more likely to die than residents who were adequately cared for.
If you suspect that someone you care about is the victim of nursing home negligence, you may be feeling upset, angry, and hopeless. This article will provide you with some preliminary information on how to prove nursing home negligence.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Negligence in a nursing home can stem from a variety of circumstances, including:
– Care: There may be variations among nursing homes in the attention and one-on-one interactions a resident receives, but there is a minimum threshold of care that should be provided. At a basic level, employees should ensure that each person receives proper nutrition, their needs are looked after, and reasonable efforts are made to avoid injury or illness.
– Hiring: Caring for the elderly is a significant responsibility that requires caring, compassionate, and ethical individuals. If employees are neglecting their duties, it’s possible that the facility was negligent in its hiring practices. Perhaps they failed to properly screen employees or conduct thorough background checks.
– Training: Providing care for seniors is challenging. In addition to an employee wanting to do a good job, there’s also training that should occur to ensure that they can carry out their duties properly. If employees are not trained, they could inadvertently harm a resident.
– Facility and equipment maintenance: Nursing homes are responsible for eliminating unnecessary dangers on the premises. This responsibility could include everyday hazards like a wet floor or keeping medical equipment in working order.
Tips for Proving Nursing Home Negligence
You might have a “gut feeling” that something is amiss in your loved one’s nursing home. One of the first things to do if you sense that any type of negligence is occurring is to speak with that person directly to ask about their experience.
If that is not possible due to cognitive decline or impairment, or they are reluctant to speak for another reason, you can put your powers of observation at work and begin investigating the situation.
As you look into what is potentially happening at the nursing home, we recommend the following three actions to get evidence that can prove nursing home negligence in court:
1. Document any evidence of neglect. Make notes of any physical injuries, emotional distress, or incidents where you’ve observed poor hygiene, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, odors, or filth.
2. Report your concerns. As soon as possible, discuss your concerns with the facility’s administrator. Keep a record of your complaint and document what actions management said they would take.
3. Contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Having an official complaint with a government authority can also be used as evidence to strengthen your case.
Contact an Attorney about Your Nursing Home Negligence Concerns
At the Law Offices of Bryan Garrett PLLC, we have over 15 years of experience dealing with nursing home neglect cases. We can walk you through the process of filing a complaint with the state department and discuss avenues for seeking compensation. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.