Aging is an unavoidable part of life, and even the most vibrant individuals will eventually have trouble doing the things they once loved due to their aging bodies. In many cases, the tables are turned between parents and adult children when it's those children who end up caring for their elderly parents. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, and this often leads to the need for nursing home care. These facilities are meant to keep our aging loved ones safe; but sadly, this isn't always how things turn out.
Nursing Home Injuries
There are a variety of injuries that the elderly can suffer while in the care of a nursing home, and the methods in which these injuries occur are even more numerous. A simple fall can lead to broken bones and, in some sad cases, even death. In fact, recent research has shown that falls are one of the most common accidents at nursing homes, and a common injury related to these incidents is head trauma.
Unfortunately, falls aren't the only mishap that can occur. Individuals suffering from senility may actually face danger by wandering around and potentially even leaving the nursing home's property. In some horrible instances, aging people are even injured due to the negligence of those at the nursing home. Simply not following appropriate medical protocol can lead to anything from bed sores to fatal infections.
What the Law Says
There are various legal statutes related to nursing home injuries, but these laws vary depending upon the state a person lives in. Most states, however, have regulations that require very specific safety precautions be taken in nursing homes. Some areas, for instance, require nursing homes to do an assessment of a person's ability to walk on their own. This little bit of information can help prevent falls by allowing personnel at the facility to take preventative measures against potential falls.
The law also allows for injured individuals or their loved ones to sue and recover compensation for medical neglect. Medical neglect is the denial or delay of necessary medical intervention or treatment that is essential to preventing a serious injury. When a nursing home fails in this duty, a medical malpractice attorney can inform the family of all of their options.
Dealing with Nursing Home Neglect
The first thing that a family should do if they suspect nursing home neglect, especially related to medical issues, is to get their loved one to safety and report the incident to authorities. If an elderly loved one has sustained an injury, it's also essential to seek immediate medical help. After this is all settled, a lawyer should be contacted. These professionals can help recover the medical costs related to a person's injury along with other damages.
The amount of damages a person can receive will also vary by state. In New York, for instance, a 2012 amending action to the Public Health Law stated that the term "injury" could refer to physical, financial, emotional and fatal injuries. As can be expected, this may not be true in every locality in America, so it's essential to speak with a legal professional in the place you live, whether that means a NY medical malpractice attorney, or a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
America's aging population is growing larger by the day, and it's the younger generation's duty to care for these individuals who both raised us and played a huge part in building America. Unfortunately, some negligent "professionals" at nursing homes don't see it this way, and when this is the case, elderly loved ones can suffer serious injuries. This is simply an unfortunate fact of life, but luckily, the law is set up in a way that is meant to protect these vulnerable individuals.