Transitioning your loved one to a nursing home can be a challenging, stressful process. When you choose a care facility for a family member, you want to trust that the staff will take excellent care of your loved ones and treat them with the same respect and compassion that you do.
Unfortunately, nursing home negligence is a genuine concern for care facility residents and their family members. A national survey found that 36% of nursing home residents in the U.S. witnessed physical abuse of an elderly resident in the previous year, and 10% of nursing home staff admitted to physically abusing a patient.
While no one wants to accept that nursing home negligence is so prevalent, staying aware of this form of abuse and reporting any suspected incidents is necessary to stop nursing home negligence in its tracks.
Read on to learn more about nursing home negligence in Louisiana and how a personal injuries lawyer can help you pursue compensation following an incident.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence is a form of elder abuse that nursing home staff members commit against residents in their care facilities. This form of negligence occurs when nursing home staff fail to care for residents’ physical and psychological needs adequately.
Nursing home negligence often occurs when care facilities do not have enough staff to delegate sufficient attention to each resident. Other times, this form of abuse happens when staff does not have the proper medical training to know the best ways to care for their residents. However, nursing home negligence can also be purposeful.
Negligence is different from direct abuse in that it involves neglecting to care for a resident’s needs rather than willfully imposing harm on them directly. However, nursing home negligence can be just as harmful as direct abuse and can lead to illness, injury, or even death.
The Abuse and Neglect of Adults Act
Surprisingly, nursing home negligence is a misdemeanor under Louisiana’s Abuse and Neglect of Adults Act. Additionally, this act states that anyone who fails to report an incident of neglect is also guilty of a misdemeanor, resulting in a $500 fine or 6-month prison sentence.
According to the Louisiana Abuse and Neglect of Adults Act, individuals may not retaliate against those who report adult abuse. Regardless, retaliation often occurs by suspending an employee who reports such neglect or threatening any reporter.
Types of Negligence in Louisiana Nursing Homes
Nursing home negligence can take many forms, and it may be challenging to identify at a glance. However, a few common types of neglect in nursing homes include:
- Failure to supervise residents, resulting in falls, injuries, choking incidents, or other hazards
- Neglecting to give residents medication
- Giving residents the wrong medications
- Failure to create sanitary conditions for residents
- Neglecting to provide adequate food and water for residents
- Repeatedly ignoring residents
- Isolating residents from others
- Failure to bathe or maintain hygiene for residents
Nursing home staff may also commit physical abuse against residents in the form of battery, assault, or another injury to the victim. Similarly, staff sometimes commit emotional abuse by humiliating, terrorizing, or ridiculing residents.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide adequate care for all residents. If you suspect that a loved one may not be receiving proper medical, physical, and emotional treatment at their nursing facility, you may be able to receive compensation.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence often goes unnoticed by other staff and by residents’ families. But, unfortunately, neglecting to notice signs of abuse and negligence could lead your loved one to suffer in silence.
Every time you visit your family member in their care facility, you should watch out for these warning signs that may indicate nursing home negligence:
- Personality changes
- Hygiene issues
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unexplained bruises or other injuries, perhaps from slip and fall accidents
- Fatigue or insomnia
- New medical conditions
- Frequent illnesses
- Heavy sedation or other medication
Noticing these warning signs early on could help you identify and report nursing home negligence before it worsens.
What to Do if Your Loved One Is Suffering From Nursing Home Negligence
If you suspect that your loved one may be suffering from nursing home negligence, you can take several actions to correct the situation. We recommend following these steps after a negligence incident:
- Talk to a trusted staff member about your concerns.
- Speak with your loved one’s physician about the next steps for their health and well-being.
- File a complaint with the Department of Health to ensure that no other residents experience neglect.
- Pursue compensation from and legal action against the nursing facility
Personal injury lawyers can help you determine the best next steps following your loved one’s negligence incident. When you hire one of our attorneys, we will handle your case with compassion and professionalism to help you ensure your loved one’s health and safety.
Contact Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys in Covington, LA, today at 985-807-1792 to schedule a consultation with our law firm team. We will sit down with you at no cost to discuss your case since we operate on contingency fees. This means you will never pay attorney fees unless you receive a favorable legal judgment and compensation. Ever! If you cannot travel to our office, we will travel to your home or schedule a Zoom video meeting.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.