Paying Attention: Nursing Home Staff
Bed sores are often the result of nursing home staff not paying a resident any or very little attention. A parent is left on their bed, unable to care for themselves, fecal matter accumulates, and there is a rapid break down of their skin. Serious infection follows. This is negligence at its most avoidable because the cause is simply lack of attention. Nursing homes are paid lots of money to take care of your loved one. Under no circumstances should a bed sore develop.
Awareness of Bed Sore Issues
In many cases, the family only becomes aware of the bed sore issue upon admission from the nursing home to a hospital after a loved one’s health seriously deteriorates.
Taking Legal Action
No one wants to have a bed sore that leads to more complications. How do you know if it is severe enough to warrant legal action? There is no bright line test for the severity of the bed sore to make it actionable. But the general rule is this: the worse the bed sore is and the more complications that result, the stronger the case.
The unfortunate issue with bed sores is that yours will probably not be an isolated occurrence. If your parent or loved one suffers from a bed sore at this nursing home, there is almost a guarantee that this is a chronic issue at this facility. Make sure it does not happen again to your loved one or anyone else at this facility.
Taking Responsibility for Nursing Home Negligence
Very rarely will a nursing home freely admit they are at fault. Often the nursing home will blame a previous nursing home, assisted living facility or hospital. Do not let them get away with it.
Action against a nursing home for this violation of trust can force them to hire the right staff, and your action may protect not only your loved one but also future residents. You are also holding the nursing home accountable for the trust you have given them for the privilege of taking care of your parent or loved one.
The Grand Bargain
Bed sores are often the result of a severe breakdown in the grand bargain—that in return for significant payment, a loved one is guaranteed a safe and secure environment. Please note that even if a loved one is on Medical Assistance, the nursing home is still being paid a very large sum for their care.
Once that bargain is violated and the bed sore issues are severe, you may have a case against that nursing home. Do not let them get away with it.
The Importance of Documentation
Always document the action or inaction by the nursing home staff (i.e. names, witnesses, pictures, dates, times, etc.). This is often the difference between a winning and losing case when legal action is required.
Feel free to give our office a call for a consultation.