Very often we see the elderly checking themselves into nursing homes for a variety of reasons. They may not be physically able to care for themselves, may be forced to go to one by children unwilling to care for them, or may simply live in one out of sheer loneliness and for companionship. Whatever their reasons may be for living in one, they do expect to be cared for by the nursing home staff for their physical as well as emotional well-being.
Abuse at Nursing homes
Usually the care provided at such homes is very tender and loving, but you do come across some nursing homes where the residents are abused by their caregivers. This abuse can be physical and mental and can be due to several reasons such as:
- Unqualified and poorly trained staff members.
- Inadequate number of caregivers.
- Violent history of caregivers.
- Isolation of nursing home residents.
Abuse of Rights of Nursing Home Occupants
Nursing homes are typically set up to give professional care to the elderly or sick who may not be able to care for themselves. Federal regulations are thus in place to protect nursing home residents from any kind of abuse to ensure a safe living environment. Federal policies require such health care institutions to give in writing, to their residents, the policies of the nursing homes which prohibit any kind of mistreatment and abuse of those living there. The legal rights of nursing home residents include the right to:
If any of their legal rights are abused, nursing home residents have the option of seeking legal recourse to establish and protect such rights.
Physical and Mental Abuse at Nursing Homes
One of the legal rights of nursing home occupants is the right to not be abused in any manner such as:
If ever a resident finds himself a victim of such abuse, he can bring forward a claim against the nursing home and can ask for damages as a result of such abuse.
In the unfortunate event of the death of a nursing home resident, which occurred as a result of any abuse, negligence, mistreatment or violence on the part of the nursing home and its staff; the survivors and loved one of the deceased can file a case of wrongful death due to nursing home abuse and can claim damages for:
- Emotional anxiety and sorrow due to the death.
- Loss of parental influence and direction.
- Loneliness as a result of loss of companionship.
- Financial instability due to the death (if the deceased was a provider).
- Recovery of burial, cremation and other funeral expenses.
A loved one should hire a competent lawyer in such instances of death, as even though these legal claims and damages may not take away the suffering and grief caused by the death, it will make nursing homes and other such institutions accountable for their actions so that other people are protected from a similar fate.
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