America's population is aging at a rapid pace. In the context of relatively scarce care resources, longer life-spans, and geographically spread-out families, more people are seeking high quality long-term care at nursing homes and other live-in facilities.
Sadly, these facilities demonstrate again and again that families cannot rely upon them to protect older loved ones from harm.
Elder abuse can occur in two broad ways-and nursing homes are often liable for personal injuries resulting from both. First, many elders are subjected to unthinkable intentional abuse at the hands of other residents or even staff members. In one study of caregivers who treat patients with dementia or Alzheimer's, around 12 percent of respondents admitted to having physically abused a patient in their care.
Nursing homes have an obligation to supervise their employees to be sure that intentional abuse is not occurring. While a facility's intentional decision to turn a blind eye on abusive behavior is one way in which liability arises, employers have other obligations when it comes to hiring and supervision. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help families determine whether a claim exists.
Our next post will cover the other broad way in which care facilities can be liable for nursing home injuries.
Source: Medical Daily, "Elder Abuse: An Impeding National Crisis?" Susan Scutti, May 30, 2013