As much as you’d love to take care of your loved ones in your own home, you may not have the time, money, space or patience to care for them. This is why many families pay to have their loved ones live in nursing homes. In most cases, the family can relax knowing their loved one is safely being taken care of, but what should you do if you feel your loved one is being neglected?
What Is Neglect?
Each state offers a different definition of what nursing home neglect actually is, though there are some general guidelines that most states follow. If your loved one’s nursing home staff fails to provide the following basics, they could be considered neglectful.
- Clothing appropriate for the season and the environment
- Medical supervision appropriate for the individual’s condition
- Adequate food
- Adequate hygiene and bathing services
- A safe shelter that protects the individual from the elements
- Appropriate medical care
This kind of neglect is illegal, and in many cases, you can file a nursing home lawsuit against the institution. There are other situations that are illegal, but that wouldn’t warrant a lawsuit, so it’s important you work with a lawyer to make that determination.
When You Might Not Sue
If the nursing home fails to provide proper medication to your loved one on a regular basis, that would be clear neglect and a reason to file a lawsuit. If the nursing home failed to provide proper medication to your loved one in an isolated incident and has otherwise been a great caregiver, you may not wish to file a lawsuit.
You should also keep in mind there are civil and criminal charges when it comes to nursing home lawsuits, so the action against the nursing home and its staff could be different. For example, an action such as trespassing may warrant a civil money fine, whereas an action such as beating a nursing home resident could warrant jail time.
What to Do Today
Sometimes when a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected, he or she is too ashamed or embarrassed to report it. This is why you should always look for red flags when you are talking on the phone or visiting your loved one in the nursing home. If you suspect there has been neglect, it’s important you take action right away. Contact a nursing home lawyer today to learn more or to find out what you can do to get started with a lawsuit.