Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Neglect In Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing Home Neglect Versus Abuse

Arvada assisted living facility target of neglect investigation

Many people think nursing home abuse only describes physical injuries and do not realize that neglect is a type of abuse as well.

A staff member who intentionally fails to care for a resident should be held responsible if their actions lead to harm or a wrongful death.

Even accidental nursing home neglect can be harmful in serious cases. For example, giving an older adult the wrong dose of medication can have life-threatening consequences.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

  • As many as 1 in 3 older people have been victims of nursing home abuse. Further, 2 in 3 staff members surveyed by the WHO claimed they had abused or neglected residents.
  • A study from 2012 found that as many as 85% of assisted living facilities reported at least one case of abuse or neglect but this number may actually be much higher.
  • In a 2019 NPR report, the Office of Inspector General found that 97% of nursing home abuse cases across 5 states were not reported to local law enforcement as required.

What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of Neglect And Abuse

Unfortunately, neglect and abuse can happen in an assisted living facility in the same way it happens in a nursing home. In particular, residents who have some mental decline, who are particularly physically frail, or who do not have regular family or friend visitors are at risk of being abused or neglected. Even family members that visit regularly may not immediately notice the subtle symptoms of abuse or neglect among those living in an assisted living facility. Victims of abuse or neglect may keep the information from their loved ones out of embarrassment, fear of retribution, or in an effort to shield loved ones from stress and worry. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility include the following:

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Can I Sue The Nursing Home Even If My Loved One Has No Written Contract With Them

Yes, you can, because human rights dont need contractual support. If you were hit by a car, for example, you wouldnt have to prove that you had a contract with the driver not to hit you in order to win a lawsuit against him or her you could sue under general tort law principles, just as you can in cases of abuse and neglect in a nursing facility.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines the rights under state law that your loved one enjoys with or without a contractual arrangement with the nursing home. Federal regulations also apply if the institution participates in the Medicare program. Proving that the facility violated an applicable regulation will go a long way toward establishing their liability for compensatory damages. In cases of outrageous conduct, you might even be able to collect punitive damages against the nursing home. Of course, if there is a contract, a contract claim could be added to other claims arising from the abuse or neglect.

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse

Alleged Neglect At Almost Like Home Assisted Living Center ...

Many instances of nursing home abuse go undetected. Thankfully, it may be possible to prevent it from happening or continuing.

You can prevent nursing home abuse by:

  • Recognizing the signs and causes
  • Regularly checking in on your loved one
  • Taking preventative measures if needed

Nursing home facilities that are held accountable are more likely to take action so other residents stay safe.

Our team is dedicated to ending the epidemic of nursing home abuse and you can join our fight. If you or a loved one suffered from nursing home abuse, see if you can take legal action with a free case review. You may be able to hold abusive staff members financially accountable.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Assisting Living Abuse And Neglect

Assisted living facilities in Tampa are meant to be safe places for seniors to maintain their dignity and independence with limited medical supervision and care. These Florida facilities can be loosely monitored and regulated by authorities, which could lead to a lack of transparency and accountability. With the lack of government monitoring, assisted living facilities can retain residents they are not equipped to handle. This may increase the risk of abuse and neglect when employees are unable to respond quickly to residents needs or conditions in the facility become hazardous. Seniors in these facilities may be afraid to report abuse out of embarrassment or fear of retribution or further abuse.

There are signs and symptoms of assisted living abuse and neglect you can look for when visiting your loved one. Bedsores or marks on the body may signal physical abuse at the hands of an employee or another resident. Unpleasant odors or frequent illnesses may be a sign your loved one is not receiving proper care. Sudden mood swings or isolation could be a symptom of psychological abuse. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, you may want to contact an assisted living abuse lawyer in Tampa, Florida.

Assisted Living Abuse Legal Help in Tampa

Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer

Placing the care of your senior loved one into the hands of another individual can be a tough emotional decision to make. Many families in Tampa put their trust in assisted living facilities to take care of their senior loved ones when they are unable to provide needed care themselves. Sometimes this trust with assisted living facilities can be broken by devastating abuse and neglect. If you suspect something wrong is happening with your elderly loved one, you may need the expert advice of an assisted living abuse lawyer. Ligori & Ligori Attorneys at Law can help you find answers and take action to deliver justice.

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Nursing Home Bill Of Rights

Every resident of an Ohio assisted living facility will have the Resident Rights listed in Ohio Revised Code section 3721.13. That includes the right to:

a safe . . . living environment and

adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care and to other ancillary services that comprise necessary and appropriate care consistent with the program for which the resident contracted

Violating these rights can be the basis of a lawsuit against an ALF. And, under certain circumstances, violations can expose an ALF to punitive damages.

We Build Successful Assisted Living Abuse And Neglect Claims

Assisted living facility under investgation for elder abuse, neglect

Many families feel less anxiety about their loved ones when they live in assisted living facilities versus nursing home facilities. Its comforting to know that your family member only needs some degree of assistance with daily tasks rather than constant supervision and care. Unfortunately, assisted living residents arent immune to abuse and neglect, especially when their facilities are understaffed or hire inexperienced caregivers.

At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help all types of elder residents get compensation after abuse and neglect, whether they live in senior communities, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. Contact our Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyers today for a free consultation. Well do everything in our power to get your family the maximum settlement for your loved ones mistreatment.

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Minnesota Assisted Living Falls

Injuries due to falls in nursing home and assisted living falls are common some due to obvious neglect other the cause is not as clear. The underlying cause of many accidents is a delay in response from the time the resident needed some assistance and a response. Or a failure to do toileting or wellness checks or some other necessary service as providing medications.

Failure To Adhere To All Food And Health Department Requirements

Assisted living facilities often have dining halls and health centers. Therefore, they are required to follow all food and health safety protocols not only for their food license but any health department regulations required as well. If a patient were to become ill due to poor food storage, for example, then the facility would be responsible for that foodborne illness.

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Residents May Be Afraid To Come Forward

Residents of an assisted living facility are usually slightly more independent than residents at a nursing home. They may only need limited assistance with daily living activities and are less likely to suffer from serious dementia or other memory or cognition issues. Even though they are more self-sufficient than nursing home residents, those living at an assisted living facility can still be taken advantage of and mistreated. Sometimes assisted living abuse and neglect goes unreported because the victim is afraid to speak up. Other times, residents fear that an abusive staff member will retaliate if they report the mistreatment. Other residents are simply unaware of what their rights are at an assisted living facility or put up with bad care because they do not realize they deserve better.

Social Or Emotional Neglect

Assisted Living Facilities and Care to Residents with ...

This may involve ignoring a nursing home resident, leaving them alone, or not letting them interact with friends, family, or other residents.

Residents with physical or mental disabilities could have a higher risk of social neglect, as they may rely on caregivers to help them move and interact with others.

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My Loved One Lives In An Assisted Living Facility In Chicago Can The Facility Be Held Liable For An Accident

These facilities in Chicago are governed by the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act. There are specific obligations and limitations on how the facility should be ran and maintained. This is important because when our loved ones are in a facility in Chicago, we want them to be safe and well cared for. With that being said, its unfortunate when accidents happen. Its also unfortunate because many injuries sustained by residents of a facility look as if they are caused by an accident.

However, as stated earlier, assisted living facilities must meet certain standards. This means that even accidents may mean that the facility and specific employees involved may be legally liable. This is because facilities in Chicago have accepted a serious responsibility when they decided to open their doors to take care of others. If there is any instance of carelessness, irresponsibility, or inaction, the facility and employees may be responsible.

If your loved one is a resident in an assisted living facility in Chicago and was involved in an accident, you should contact Malman Law for a free case evaluation. Our team is passionate about protecting residents. Our evaluation team includes a Registered Nurse with more than 30 years of experience. Call or contact us to schedule your free consultation.

Community Nursing Standards And Assisted Living Specific Guidelines

Although commonly overlooked, there are numerous guidelines that apply specifically to ALFs. These are becoming increasingly important as ALFs continue to take on patients with higher acuity levels. For example, the Alzheimers Association has published guidelines for how ALFs and nursing homes should care for dementia and Alzheimers patients during the 3 phases of the disease process.

This is invaluable as more and more facilities market disease-specific programs and memory care plans.

Likewise, the American Geriatrics Society Position Paper on Assisted Living lays out requirements for staff knowledge and skills needed to competently provide care for older adults, which includes signs of condition change, risk for falls, depression, and so forth. Similarly, the Scope and Standards of Assisted Living Nursing Practice formulated by the American Assisted Living Nurses Association outlines requirements of care, integrity, education, and assessment for nurses working in the assisted living environment.

Remember, the point is not to blame specific nurses or caregivers but to develop the case for corporate indifference by demonstrating that these and similar materials are given no weight in hiring, training, supervision, or retention decisions.

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Assisted Living Facilities Often Are Not The Ones Providing Care

ALFs usually do not directly provide certain health care services, but consistently work with other providers to offer these services. These services frequently include:

  • 8% dental
  • 0% skilled nursing and
  • 0% therapy .

Many of these services are not provided directly by the ALF but by employees of home health agencies and other entities. This is an important consideration when you are deciding who to name in a lawsuit.

Commonly, there are contracts or letters of endorsement between the facility and the provider whereby the ALF assumes responsibility for any wrongdoing and injury. In other circumstances there are overlapping ownership interests between the ALF and providers, but unlike in the nursing home context, these do not have to be disclosed as related parties.

Do I Have A Case Against The Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living facility manager pleads guilty to neglect

It can be difficult to know if you have a claim against an assisted living facility. Many cases are difficult to prove. Even if you have a valid claim, the assisted living facility may deny any wrongdoing. Without the help of an attorney, you may get push-back from the facility and decide its not worth the hassle.

Thats why its important to contact the Law Offices of George S. Johnson for a free consultation. Attorney Johnson will start by listening to you and understanding what happened. He then will discuss your options, which may include an investigation into the abuse or neglect.

While many cases settle out of court, George S. Johnson can file a lawsuit if necessary and is prepared to bring cases to trial to fight for a fair resolution.

If you suspect abuse or neglect at an assisted living facility, reach out to the Law Offices of George S. Johnson today for a free and confidential consultation. Because there is a statute of limitations, its important to contact our firm as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may lose your right to file a claim.

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The Entitys Own Marketing Materials

For anyone using the Rules of the Road methodwhich I assume is everyone at this pointyou can find invaluable information peppered throughout the facilitys own marketing materials that they use to aggressively solicit potential customers. In an effort to solicit customers, these marketing materials often make lofty promises concerning things like safety, protecting their residents well-being, supervision, promoting a family environment and happiness, and providing the best medical and nursing care available. These are excellent sources for rules because they are the guarantees of the entity itself. These are also excellent sources for proving the type of misrepresentations needed to pursue a fraud claim.

On a similar note, you will want to find the job descriptions and online offers of employment for many of the positions, including sales and marketing managers and staff. Many of the chain-affiliated providers are in constant need of sales staff and their job offers can be easily located on websites like Indeed.com.

We have found that these job offerings endorse our clients complaints of heavy handed sales tactics and promises by including position requirements of aggressive closing skills, ability to persuade all potential customers, and history of high win rates. These reinforce that this is a corporate numbers game with little concern for the well-being of residents.

Violation Of Nursing Home Residents Rights

Violations of the resident rights statute provides weight to traditional negligence claims by building in statutory rules, primarily the requirements

a safe . . . living environment and

adequate and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care and to other ancillary services that comprise necessary and appropriate care consistent with the program for which the resident contracted

These are particularly important because in ALF claims, a primary overriding theme is often that the resident should not have been at the ALF at all. Rather, the resident required a higher level of care and either should never have been admitted or there was some change in condition during the residency that required placement in a nursing home. Either way, the claim is that the ALF could not provide a safe environment, and it knew it.

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Is An Assisted Living Facility The Same Thing As A Nursing Home

No. In an assisted living facility, residents can live in their own apartments with their own possessions, while enjoying communal activities and getting help with activities of daily living from on-site staff. Assisted living staff help adults who need help with their daily routines, including personal hygiene, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, eating, and getting from place to place.

A nursing home, on the other hand, is for residents who need more around-the-clock monitoring and nursing care, often after a surgery and during rehabilitation.

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Assisted Living Abuse And Neglect Often Goes Unreported

How to Spot Nursing Home Elder Neglect and Abuse ...

Unfortunately, it is common for instances of elder abuse and neglect to go unreported. One of the reasons this occurs is because the instances of abuse are unnoticed or difficult to uncover.

Moreover, elderly individuals often have medical conditions that can make it difficult for them to properly report the incident.

  • In some cases, a victim may want to make a report, but they fear retribution if they go forward with it.
  • The victim may feel feel ashamed and responsible for allowing the abuse to occur even though it is not their fault.
  • Elderly individuals who suffered from abuse may be unwilling to view themselves as victims as a protective mechanism.
  • It is not uncommon for a victim to be reluctant to report abuse because of manipulation by the perpetrator.

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Riskiest Environments For Elder Abuse

Studies indicate that elderly individuals are at a greater risk for abuse and neglect at larger assisted living facilities with a high number of patients and staff. These studies determined that there were significant correlations between the amount of beds in a facility, high rates of staff turnover, the number of aids, and number of nurses, along with total incidents of mistreatment of patients. Additionally, there was found to be a positive correlation between physical nursing home neglect and the staff-to-patient ratio of the facility. There was also a positive correlation between the total number of mistreatment events per patient and the staff ratio of the assisted living facility.

Elder abuse and neglect is becoming more common and must be prevented. If you have concerns that your loved one has suffered assisted living neglect or abuse as a resident of an assisted living facility, contact The Peck Law Group right away. The attorneys at The Peck Law Group will aggressively fight for your rights.

About the Author

Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friends parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.

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