Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Lawyer Serving Jupiter
When our loved ones have reached their senior years, we want the very best for them insofar as care and accommodations are concerned. For those who reside in senior citizen nursing communities, this means having competent and respectful staff members as well as having the proper standard of care. However, the trust that we place in those who run nursing home facilities can, on occasion, betray the trust that we have placed in them. This is the reason why we see a number of nursing home negligence reports in Jupiter.How to Define Negligence and Nursing Home Abuse
Some people equate nursing home negligence with nursing home abuse. But there are some important legal differences in the definitions of those terms. In the case of nursing home abuse, we encounter a situation in which the staff members of a nursing home facility are in the process of actually harming the residents. The reasons for this can range from stress and employment dissatisfaction to sadistic tendencies on part of the facility personnel. Therefore, nursing home abuse is a serious crime that requires immediate attention from law enforcement agencies.
However, nursing home negligence is a different matter altogether and, in most cases, needs to be handled through channels other than law enforcement. With nursing home negligence, we have a situation in which the residents are receiving a substandard level of care, when compared to normal expectations. In a situation such as this, it’s suggested that you consult an experienced nursing home attorney in order to see what options may be at your disposal. An attorney may be able to assist you with following up on any suspected negligence observations that you may have.Signs of Negligence and Abuse in Nursing Homes
When it comes to observations that pertain to nursing home negligence suspicions, it’s essential that you look closely at the resident’s living conditions. Through careful observation, one may be able to determine the possibility of one of the four basic categories of neglect that will constitute nursing home negligence. These include:
- Not being attended for long periods of time – Leaving a nursing home resident by themselves for extended periods of time can have potential damaging results on that individual’s state of mind. For example, a solitary environment can result in a lack of motivation and/or chronic depression. These conditions may be evident in the individual’s attention to their own personal care. This situation can be made worse if the resident is regularly yelled at or experiences regular negative communication form staff members.
- Neglect when it comes to a resident’s personal cleanliness – This is something that may be seen in situations where the staff members are overworked or are just exhibiting laziness. This form of negligence may appear in the form of residents who are not being kept clean through the use of regular personal hygiene practices that include: washing, dental care, wearing clean clothes and other standard practices involving cleanliness.
- Basic needs of residents are being neglected – Here, we see a situation in which the resident is not being provided sufficient liquids, food and a safe, clean environment to reside in.
- The resident’s medical needs are unattended – This will occur when the staff is not paying attention to a resident’s daily medical needs that are designed to deal with current and future medical issues. These include; tending to an infection, diabetes monitoring, assisting with mobility, preventing bedsores and tending to any lacerations.
It can be said that when it comes to retirement locations, Jupiter (and Florida, in general) can be seen as one of the most popular areas in the United States. A lot of this has to do with its warmer climate and sunny weather. In addition, there is a strong focus on senior citizen’s concerns and the needs of the elderly. For these reasons, one can find a large number of nursing homes in this location. The Florida State Government is known to keep a watchful eye on the standards of these nursing homes and any complaints are seriously and expediently dealt with. Nursing homes are also obligated to hand over all of their records regarding medical diagnostics (s. 400.0625)
Along with resident treatment and care documentation to government agencies (s. 400.145).
The rights of nursing home residents, who reside in Jupiter (and the rest of the state), are stipulated in the following 400.022:
- The responsibilities and rights of the nursing home residents need to be adopted and made public. As such, the employees of the facility are required to adhere to these provisions and treat the residents accordingly. (1)
- Residents have the right to religious and civil liberties. In addition, residents have the right to personal decisions in keeping with the available choices and these choices will not be infringed upon. The facility staff is also obligated to assist the residents when it comes to the exercise of these choices. (1 a)
- Residents have the right to engage in personal communication in the form of unopened mail along with access to a telephone along with visitations of the resident’s choice (during established visiting hours). The residents also have the right to have overnight visitations, outside the facility. These visitations may be with family and friends, in accordance with the policies of the facility, Title XVIII (Medicare) and Title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act regulations and the resident’s physician. When these occur, the resident won’t be subject to the loss of their bed in the facility. (1 b)
- The resident has the right to reasonable access to any individual or entity that provides the resident legal, social or health services. This includes (but not limited to; but not limited to, representatives of the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, the Agency for HealthCare Administration, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Elderly Affairs; any law enforcement officer; any representative of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; and the resident’s personal physician. These may be for the purposes of nursing home negligence complaints (1 c)
- The resident also has the right to present nursing home negligence complaints on their behalf or on behalf of others in the facility. They also have the right to work together with other residents in order to obtain improvements within their nursing home facility. (1 d)
- Residents also have the right to review facility inspection results along with any plans that are being put into place to correct any problematic findings. The accounting system established and maintained by the facility must preclude any commingling of resident funds with facility funds or with the funds of any person other than another resident. (1 g)
- Residents also have the right to refuse treatment or medication. They also have the right to be informed of the consequences of such refusals. This statute is not valid if the resident has been determined to be unable to give informed consent in accordance with state law. (1 k)
- The resident has the right to receive appropriate and adequate healthcare along with the support of the facility support services that include; social services; mental health services, if available; planned recreational activities; and therapeutic and rehabilitative services consistent with the resident care plan, with established and recognized practice standards within the community, and with rules as adopted by the agency.
- The resident’s medical and personal records shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
- Residents have the right to be treated fairly, courteously and with dignity. This includes receiving written and/or oral explanations of the types of services that are either being provided or are available to them. (1 n)
- The use of emergency restraints may only be provided by a licensed nurse. In addition, corporal punishment, physical, chemical restraints and mental abuse is forbidden, except in cases in which chemical restraint has been authorized (in writing) by a physician. Chemical restraints are only to be allowed temporarily or during the emergency. Afterwards, a physician must be consulted immediately afterwards. In addition, restraints are not to be used in place of staff member monitoring. (1 o)
- Anyone who submits nursing home negligence complaints, regarding a suspected facility violation, in Jupiter, or who presents testimony regarding these violations will usually be subject to immunity from criminal and civil liability. This is true, unless the individual has acted in bad faith or in a manner that is considered to be completely unfounded or malicious.
Negligence in a nursing home can often be spotted through the observation of a few obvious indications. However, there are also some forms of nursing home negligence that are much harder to identify. As a matter of fact, some forms of negligence are almost undetectable due to the nature of the offense. These can be situations in which there are no outward signs of injury, but one may see a notable change in the demeanor of the residents. Signs of negligence can include:
- Obvious hazards in the form of; lighting that is too dim, wet floors and unsafe equipment such as damaged wheelchairs, walkers or furniture.
- The resident is now showing signs of poor hygiene.
- The resident is reluctant to be friendly toward nursing home staff members.
- Becoming withdrawn in a way that they have never been in the past.
- Evidence of dehydration with no available water at hand for the resident.
- Unreported injuries.
- The appearance of bedsores due to not turning a resident so that the resident remains in just one position.
- The resident experiences a sudden weight loss. In particular if the resident requires assistance with feeding.
- Reoccurring infections that may be related to poor diet issues.
Nursing home residents are at a much greater risk when it comes to injuries and illnesses that can be associated with nursing home negligence. An elderly person’s frail physical attributes may even exacerbate illnesses and injuries so that death may result. This is why close monitoring of the living conditions of our elderly loved ones is so critical to the care that they deserve in their later years.
In the long run, it takes every effort on the part of the nursing home staff members and those who have loved ones in nursing homes in order to monitor and ensure that a resident’s living conditions are suitable maintained. In addition, visiting a loved one, who is residing in a nursing home, is something that should be done on a regular basis.Hire an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Deaths and injuries from nursing home negligence can occur in Jupiter at any given time. The injuries involved may include broken bones and various medication-related injuries. Therefore, even if you are aware of nursing home negligence that has occurred, it is advised that you seek the advice of a nursing home neglect personal injury attorney.
Seek the advice of a personal injury attorney, who can try to assist in receiving the best care and compensation that is rightfully deserved. Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Jupiter nursing home negligence incident, discuss your case with a Nursing Home Negligence Personal Injury Attorney Serving Jupiter Today! Turn to Frankl Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.