When you move your loved one into a nursing home, you put them in the responsible hands of the nursing home’s medical care professionals. In a perfect world, you would expect the staff to treat your family members as if they are members of their own family, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.
If you are suspicious about the going-ons in your loved one’s nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at the first sign something is wrong. Here we have compiled an intro guide on what anyone should know about nursing home law in case you experience some situations you may be uncomfortable with.
Responsibilities of the Nursing Home
Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, there are specific requirements a nursing home must abide by when caring for their residents.
- Having an adequate number of staff compared to the number of residents in the facility
- Developing and enacting comprehensive care plans for each resident, including keeping and tracking their medical care and dietary restrictions
- Assessing and aiding in the specific needs of each resident as they come up
- Promoting each resident’s quality of life
- Ensuring the faculty is clean, liveable, and supervised at all times
The rights of a patient can be narrowed down into two categories: quality of life and quality of care.
Quality of life means that the nursing home has the responsibility to provide care in an environment that is positive and enhances each resident’s life. From providing social activities to providing a clean bedroom and bathroom, these all add to a resident’s quality of life.
Quality of care entails that each resident is being cared for as they should be. If it has anything to do with a patient’s mental or physical health, it is classified under quality of care. For example, administering medications on schedule, providing a proper diet, and socialization.
Specific Examples of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are a lot of different examples of nursing home abuse and neglect, which is why it is imperative to be as vigilant as possible when visiting your loved one in their care facility. Look out for the following signs:
Neglect: bedsores, weight loss, unwashed clothes, dry skin and chapped lips (due to dehydration), and bruises and scrapes.
Emotional abuse: an unexplained and abrupt change in behavior, seclusion, depression, sudden disinterest in doing activities that were previously enjoyable.
Physical Abuse: similar marks in the same area of the body such as the ankles or wrist, severe fear of another resident or a care worker.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact a law firm today. Call a police if it is an absolute emergency, otherwise come get help from nursing home lawyer. A consultation is what you will need to seek clarity and next steps in your specific situation.