As we grow older, it can be hard to take care of aging family members, especially when there are special medical needs to consider. There comes a point in the lives of many families when a decision needs to be made about whether it’s possible to continue caring for an elderly person at home, or if it’s just become too much. An assisted-living or nursing home facility can provide the level of care and support that your aging loved one needs to enjoy the sunset years of his or her life.
The Top Three Reasons That Nursing Homes Are Sued
It’s heartbreaking when these care facilities for the elderly fail to live up to the standards of care that are expected, resulting in the negligence and abuse of a vulnerable and fragile population. Here are some of the top reasons that lawsuits are filed against nursing homes or assisted-living facilities:
- Injuries or death from falling. Falls are the number one accident affecting the elderly in care facilities. While the elderly are more prone to falling and more severe injuries due to falling, the facility may contribute to the cause of a fall. Bad lighting, wet floors or damaged carpeting, lack of staff supervision, and improper medication can all lead to dangerous falls.
- Pressure sores. Also called bedsores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, these are wounds that develop over time as the skin breaks down due to prolonged contact with a surface, such as a bed, pillow, or wheelchair. This type of wound is common on the heels, hips, or tailbone, although any area of the body that’s in prolonged contact with a surface can develop an ulcer. Patients who lack mobility or have nerve damage are most at risk, though the risk of ulceration can be minimized if the care facility takes proper steps to ensure that a patient at risk moves regularly, has clean, dry bedding and clothes, and is positioned appropriately.
- Improper care and lack of hygiene. Failure to provide proper hygiene for residents who are unable to care for themselves can lead to severe health consequences. Staff must wash hands regularly, and make sure that the areas where residents live, eat, and enjoy recreation are clean and maintained, or lethal infections and injuries can happen.
Other common reasons for lawsuits against care facilities include failing to monitor residents appropriately, physical or emotional abuse, delays in seeking medical treatment, and medication errors.
Help Stop Elder Abuse Today
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered or died as a result of negligence or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, legal help is available now. To talk to an attorney about your situation, call the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger at 803-790-2800 today.