Nursing homes exist to give the elderly the attention and care families are unable to provide. Unfortunately, all too often these institutions fail to live up to expectations by failing to perform their duties. When nursing home neglect like this occurs, serious injuries or death can result. A recent case illustrates the tragedy of nursing home neglect, and Miami residents should take note.
In that case, a patient was admitted to the nursing home with orders for personnel to attempt to resuscitate or call 911 if the patient stopped breathing or lost a pulse. Shortly after being admitted, however, the patient became unresponsive. A nursing home employee failed to attempt CPR or call 911 and the patient died. It was claimed tiredness prevented the worker from thinking clearly in that situation.
Nursing home neglect can take many forms. Bedsores, a nursing home fall, and rapid weight loss can all be signs of negligence. Unexplained bruising can also be a sign of nursing home abuse. Any of these occurrences can leave victims and their families devastated, with a long struggle to recover bearing down on them.
Fortunately, legal action can help recovery. If a victim, or a surviving family member in the case of death, can prove that the nursing home owed the patient a duty of care, that duty was breached, and injuries resulted from the breach, then damages can be recovered. This compensation can then be used to cover medical expenses and pain and suffering. In the tragic cases of death, like the one mentioned above, funeral costs can also be recovered.
Nursing home neglect cases not only help victims and their families obtain the compensation they need and deserve, but also punish errant institutions and employees. Perhaps these financial penalties will force these homes to take more precautions to ensure their institutions are the safe, caring places patients and their families expect.
Source: WCCO CBS Minnesota, "Worker Accused of Neglect in Nursing Home Patient's Death," Feb. 6, 2013