Your loved one’s nursing home is required to provide their residents with a high quality of life. You should have peace of mind that the staff members and medical professionals are providing them with the best care possible. There are situations, however, where the nursing home doesn’t provide that level of care and your loved one’s physical and mental wellbeing suffers because of it. If your loved one has been neglected to the level that they are left alone for a long period of time or have injured themselves due to being left alone, this may be a situation described as “abandonment”.
Nursing home abandonment is a serious concern because long-term care facilities are expected to properly care for, protect, and monitor residents. Residents are not always capable of taking care of themselves. When a resident is abandoned for hours at a time or on multiple occasions, injury or even death may result. If your loved one has suffered due to being abandoned in a nursing home, an Omaha nursing home abandonment lawyer from Welsh & Welsh can help you protect your loved one’s rights and get your family the compensation you deserve.
Nursing Home Abandonment Puts Seniors at Risk
Nursing homes employ a number of people. While the majority of them may be responsible health care providers or workers, some may try to take advantage of your loved one or won’t providing the best care possible. There may even be a case where one employee is abusing residents, and the rest of the staff have no idea. There is no excuse for your loved one to live with abuse and neglect. When a resident is left alone for sustained periods of time or not properly watched, this can also be detrimental to the resident’s health and can lead to neglect or serious injury due to falling or wandering where they shouldn’t.
In skilled nursing facilities, the following staff members and employees are expected to properly care for residents and not abandon or neglect them:
Health Care Workers
- Licensed Practice Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants
- Human Resources
One of the main problems that can lead to nursing home abandonment is fatigue. When a nurse or staff member is overworked and don’t get enough rest, they can easily make mistakes and leave residents unattended. A nurse could administer the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to their resident, which could cause injury or death. A maintenance worker could leave equipment out on the floor and create a tripping hazard. Fatigue doesn’t excuse putting seniors at risk. Nursing homes need to have protocols and procedures in place to make sure their workers are able to take care of their residents.
Another major issue when a nursing home is neglectful is falling. Seniors who aren’t getting the assistance they need may try to move on their own. In a nursing home where residents aren’t seen regularly, it could be hours before someone discovers that they’ve fallen. For those who are on certain medications or have sustained a head injury, this could be fatal because they need immediate care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls will break a bone or cause a head injury. Every year, there are over 800,000 patients in the hospital recovering from a head or hip injury that was caused by a fall. Seniors take longer to heal and major injuries like this risk the chance of infection. If the senior has a compromised immune system, they will have an even more difficult time healing.
Unfortunately, those who do fall often develop a fear of falling again. This could deter seniors from wanting to exercise or move regularly, which puts them at even more of a risk of falling because their muscles aren’t getting used and will weaken.
While a fall can cause devastating injuries, it can also result in death. If you suspect your loved one passed away because of negligence, Welsh & Welsh has skilled wrongful death lawyers who can help you.
What Can You Do If Your Loved One Is Abused?
You may be feeling like you’re the only one looking out for your loved one’s care, but there are more people on your side than you think. The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) states that the following people are mandated reporters. This means that they are required by state law to report abuse they witness or suspect.
- Medical Professionals, Medical Assistants
- Mental Health Professionals
- Law Enforcement
- Sheltered Workshop Employees
- Human Services
- DHHS Employees
If you find that your loved one is being abused or neglected and no one has come forward or made a report, you can make one yourself to the Nebraska DHHS. You also don’t have to worry about retaliation from the suspected abuser or from your loved one finding out that you made the report. Your information is confidential. The only people who may get your name is law enforcement or the DHHS.
Get in Touch with an Omaha Nursing Home Abandonment Lawyer
You deserve to know that your loved one is living in a healthy environment where they can thrive. When they are in a dangerous environment that threatens their health, your first priority is to get them somewhere safe. Then you can seek justice on your loved one’s behalf with one of our Omaha nursing home abuse lawyers.
Welsh & Welsh will hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. We will do everything possible to get your loved one compensation they deserve. Contact our office today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.