Caring for dementia patients is a complex and challenging responsibility, requiring specialized knowledge, skills, and resources.
As the aging population continues to grow, an increasing number of families are turning to nursing homes to provide care for their loved ones with dementia. If you are facing this challenge, it is imperative that you understand the complex legal aspects related to nursing home care for individuals with dementia. This helps ensure that the vulnerable patient’s legal rights are protected.
The Obligations of Nursing Homes
A variety of state and federal regulations govern the quality of care that nursing homes must provide. From a federal perspective, the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA, 1987), requires residential care facilities to provide services that ensure patients can attain (or maintain) their highest possible physical, mental, and psychological well-being. Care facilities must also provide personalized care plans for residents, specific to the patient, which must address the patient’s unique needs.
Other provisions that nursing homes are subject to typically include requirements for staff training, facilities maintenance, staffing levels and – most important to this discussion – the obligation to report abuse or neglect should it occur.
The Elements of Proper Care for Dementia Patients
When residents are faced with dementia, residential care facilities must take steps to ensure that those patients are cared for appropriately. This might include – but is not limited to – providing qualified staff to provide care; tailoring individual care plans to the patient’s needs and abilities; providing appropriate medical care; ensuring the patient engages in meaningful activities; and providing a safe and supportive environment for the patient.
If a facility fails to meet these obligations, and the patient suffers harm or injury as a result, you may have the potential for legal recourse.
Legal Recourse for Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
If a loved one suffers injury or harm as the result of improper nursing home treatment, you may have recourse. One option is to file a complaint with the appropriate state agency that oversees residential care facilities. Another viable option is to pursue legal action against the facility. In some extreme cases, criminal charges may even be involved.
Because it can be difficult to determine whether nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred – and demonstrate it, if so – seeking help from an experienced attorney is critical.
A qualified nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you with the complex process of pursuing a claim. Your attorney can help protect the legal rights and well-being of your loved one, and help ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and other damages.
In Columbus, the personal injury team of Clark, Perdue & List understands how confusing and overwhelming this situation can be. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable and compassionate nursing home neglect legal team.