Given the aging of our baby boomers, the need for quality nursing home facilities has increased dramatically. When a nursing home is poorly staffed, or its staff hasn’t received adequate training, abandonment of residents becomes a valid concern. As a result, some residents don’t receive sufficient care from registered nurses or other certified health care professional.
Federal Staffing Laws
The federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is the law of the land. It lays out mandatory staffing standards that are intended to ensure proper care of every nursing home resident in the country. Nursing home residents and their families can have a nursing home held liable for failure to follow the Act’s provision. The failure to provide appropriate care for a resident can be considered abandonment of that resident. Abandonment can have serious and possibly fatal consequences for the resident.
Types of Nursing Home Abandonment
Nursing home abandonment might be intentional or negligent. Abandonment of a resident by a nursing home can occur in a variety of ways. Here are a few of them:
- Failure to treat a known condition with or without the necessity of medication.
- Failure to assist a resident with necessary assistance like getting out of bed, into or out of a wheelchair, showering or using a toiled.
- Failure to periodically check on a bedridden patient.
- Not providing a resident with proper nutrition.
- Not providing bedrails to a patient who needs them.
- Failing to respond to a resident’s calls for assistance.
The Communication Issue With Abandonment
A nursing home resident might not even tell a friend or relative that he or she is being abandoned. Maybe they’re not mindful of the level of care that they require. Maybe the resident is fearful of intimidation or retaliation, or maybe, he or she isn’t capable of effective communication. If your friend or loved one is capable of communicating effectively, inquire about the level of care that he or she is receiving. Here are some typical concerns:
- How often the nursing home staff looks in on the individual.
- Do they just pop in and out, or do they spend a bit of time with the resident?
- Does staff respond to requests for assistance promptly.
- If your friend or loved one needs help in turning over, how often is he or she turned over?
When were their clothes last changed. How often is their bedding changed?
- How often do they shower?
- Is the individual having any problems with meals?
If these inquiries can’t be directly addressed to your friend or loved one because of his or her condition, you can ask the staff. You might also want to review Kentucky’s report of the facility’s last inspection.
If you believe that you or your loved one was abandoned by a nursing home in or around Louisville, and damages were suffered, contact us here at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and you can consult with a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm at no cost or obligation. We promise to listen to you carefully, and we’ll answer your questions too. After that, you’ll be advised on all of your legal options. If we enter into a retainer agreement with you, we’ll help you avoid costly mistakes and aggressively pursue the settlement or award that you deserve.