When you place your parent or other elderly family member in a nursing facility, you naturally expect your loved one to be properly cared for and to receive the special attention you may not be able to provide for him or her at home. Unfortunately, sometimes nursing home negligence leads to serious harm or even death to the facility's elderly residents.
If your loved one has died as a result of the carelessness of a nursing home, you have the right to take legal action. A nursing home may be held liable for a wide range of problems, including elder abuse and neglect.
For what kinds of elder abuse can a nursing home be sued?
In some situations, a loved one's death may be caused by sexual or physical abuse by nursing home staff. Any form of sexual contact that is non-consensual is deemed sexual abuse, and so is any sexual contact with an elderly individual who cannot give consent or who does not fully grasp what is taking place. Examples of sexual abuse include sexual assault and battery, for instance, molestation and rape, forced nudity, sexually explicit photographing and unwanted touching.
Examples of physical abuse against an elderly resident include burning, slapping, kicking and pinching. Your loved one may also be subject to shaking, pushing, beating and hitting, for which the nursing facility responsible for his or her care may be held financially responsible. Excessively using drugs or physical restraints and holding a resident against his or her will are also considered physical abuse.
What are some common forms of elder neglect?
If a nursing home neglects your loved one, this can have fatal consequences. For instance, your elderly family member may end up choking on food, wandering off, becoming injured from a fall or suffer bed sores. Neglect is also the failure to provide your loved one with basic necessities, such as personal hygiene, water, food and basic comfort.
In some cases, neglect is considered passive, where staff members cannot appropriately care for your loved one due to a lack of necessary resources or excessive amounts of stress. In other cases, there is active abuse, where staff members purposely withhold care. If you believe that your loved one died as a result of nursing home negligence, a knowledgeable Ohio attorney can advise you of your rights and help you explore all of your legal options for righting any wrong that has been committed.