Nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide residential experiences for many Pennsylvanians who cannot live on their own or attend to their personal and medical needs. In a nursing home, a person may receive assistance with the most basic elements of getting through the day, from getting to and eating meals to bathing and taking their medications. Because nursing home residents can require a great deal of time and attention instances of neglect and abuse can occur when facilities are understaffed or ill-equipped to address their residents' needs.
Nursing homes and residential care facilities are often utilized by individuals who cannot take care of themselves. As residents of these facilities, they may receive necessary medical support, assistance with performing daily tasks, and have their days managed by individuals who are paid to see that their needs are met. However, for an alarming number of Pennsylvanians, and individuals throughout the rest of the country, nursing and care homes fail in their duties to provide safety and support, and end up inflicting pain and suffering upon those they are charged to attend.
When a family makes the decision to enter their elderly or disabled loved one into a nursing home, the decision is made with the assumption that the facility will provide adequate and satisfactory care. This means that the patient and now resident will receive all the necessary meals and medication, will have the living area regularly cleaned and linens washed, will be showered or cleaned regularly, and will have social activities when applicable, all in an effort to make the patient's life as pain-free, healthy and enjoyable as possible.
One of the most difficult decisions for a family is what to do with an elderly or disabled loved one who is no longer able to take care of him or herself. The natural aging process means that our bodies start to deteriorate and are more susceptible to injuries, illness and disease. This often means that an elderly loved one is now in need of constant care.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that we all must face aging and death eventually. As we get older, various biological systems begin to function less efficiently, and sometimes break down entirely. When this occurs, even the healthiest of us can find ourselves in a position of needing to be cared for by medical professionals. It can be difficult to watch a loved one go through not being able to completely care for him- or herself, especially when that individual was an independent person.
The death of a loved one is never easy, even when that person may have been elderly or sick. However, when such a death may have been preventable, it is important to understand what may have caused the death, both to potentially seek redress, and to help society prevent future incidents from occurring. One type of preventable deaths come in the form of those due to nursing home neglect or abuse.
For many, nursing homes are a way to care for elderly loved ones when they are no longer able to care for themselves. An illness could render a loved one in this condition, as could an injury that makes it hard to them to take care of themselves. This is why so many turn to nursing homes to ensure that loved ones are getting the care and medical attention they need. Sometimes that care goes horribly wrong, as one family discovered prior to filing suit against a Pennsylvania nursing home.
When people choose a nursing home or assisted living facility for their loved ones, they expect only the best in care. Whatever their loved one suffers with, whether it be dementia, physical disability or even a combination of the two, there are assisted living facilities claiming to be of service. While most care facilities are professional and reliable, some do not properly care for their residents. This can result in nursing home abuse, or even death.
Nursing homes are meant to be a place of reprieve for the elderly and their family members. Since so many elderly spend time in a nursing home before the end of their life, many people pass away in nursing homes. Most deaths are due to natural causes. However, sometimes nursing home deaths are suspicious or could have even possibly been prevented.
There are inherent risks to putting the care of loved ones under the responsibility of a nursing home or assisted care facility. While most nursing homes and staff practice the utmost in care, occasionally, care is not appropriate or even unlawful, and it results in injury. Most people would be right in thinking about falls or medication errors in connections with nursing home resident injury. However, another issue is the incidences of infections contracted in nursing home facilities that could qualify for nursing home abuse or neglect.