Nursing home negligence occurs when a person who has been entrusted to the care of a nursing home or an assisted living facility suffers mistreatment, abuse or neglect. This kind of elder abuse can take the form of physical or emotional abuse, medical malpractice or a lack of proper care in general. Most commonly, nursing home neglect, in which a resident is simply ignored and not properly cared for, can lead to long-term health problems, discomfort or even injury. More people are living longer and need assistance and care in their latter years, so nursing home negligence has become more common.
Dealing with nursing home negligence can be traumatic for the victim and the victim's family. Attorneys who specialize in cases of nursing home negligence can help a family pursue legal action against a health care provider or a nursing home in order to receive compensation for the injuries suffered. An experienced attorney can help assemble information and evidence to help fight for the rights of an individual who has suffered from nursing home negligence. The legal terminology of a lawsuit or other necessary action can be confusing, but an experienced attorney can provide guidance through the process of conducting successful legal action.
The best way to avoid nursing home negligence is to take particular care when choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility. Researching, asking for referrals and visiting a facility can all be helpful in making a final decision. Organizations in many states can provide information on a facility's reputation and any previous violations. Visiting a facility can give one a good idea of the overall atmosphere and how patients are treated, as well as how well staffed the facility appears to be. A facility that does not seem clean or that appears to have an insufficient or unfriendly staff likely will not be a good choice for adequate long-term care.
Once a facility has been chosen, close observation and frequent visits can help spot possible signs of nursing home negligence. In fact, visiting often and regularly is one of the best ways to prevent nursing home negligence. Building relationships with staff members and doctors and keeping communication open with caregivers also helps ensure better, more consistent care. Frequent visits also help patients in long-term care facilities to feel better about their stay and can alleviate problems such as depression that can result from needing to live in a nursing home or an assisted living facility.