Finding someone qualified and compassionate to take care of your aging loved one can be a stressful process. Fortunately, many elderly people in New York are well taken care of in one of the many nursing homes and facilities available in the state. However, some of these nursing homes behave negligently and irresponsibly when looking after those who cannot care for themselves.
Negligence within a nursing home can occur in many different capacities. In some cases, the staff members are poorly trained or are not qualified enough to take on such an important responsibility. Some of these staff members have a criminal history involving violence and the nursing home failed to conduct an adequate background check before hiring such an individual. In other cases, there is an inadequate number of staff members. Many staff members are overwhelmed by their duties, and as a result fail to care for the residents within the facility. Residents may be isolated, and out of embarrassment or fear, these residents may fail to report nursing home abuse or neglect. In addition, the nursing home itself may be poorly maintained.
Typically when negligence results in the poor treatment of a person in a nursing home, an investigation will be conducted by an adult protective services agency. The resident and his or her family may then file a lawsuit seeking damages from the nursing home for its mistreatment of the resident. This will hold negligent parties responsible for their actions. A criminal proceeding may also take place depending on the circumstances to punish the negligent parties.
A nursing home may be held liable for negligence if the victim can prove that they breached a duty of care owed to the resident, and that the person was injured as a result of this breach. Proving these elements can be challenging, but if done correctly, there will be justice for the injured party and his or her family.
Source: FindLaw, "Nursing Home Abuse Claims," accessed Aug. 3, 2015