Missourians who are trying to do their best to care for their elderly, ill or infirm loved ones will often decide that it is best to place them in a nursing home. There is never a belief that nursing home abuse or neglect will occur to family members, but it does happen. Sometimes, injuries occur because of nursing home neglect; sometimes, circumstances arise and the staff and facility is ill-equipped and unable to deal with it. Regardless, when there is an injury or death at a nursing home, it is imperative to understand that there is a right to seek compensation through a legal filing.
When it is necessary to place a loved one in a Missouri nursing home, it is not a decision that family members take lightly. It can be difficult to care for an elderly person and there comes a point where it is not personally and economically feasible to continue trying to do so. It is often for the best for everyone involved. However, there are unfortunate instances when nursing home abuse takes place. Family members need to know how to recognize the signs of abuse and act upon it. If a family member was injured or died because of nursing home abuse, it could be the foundation for a legal filing.
Last fall, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removed an obstacle for nursing home neglect lawsuits in this country. It prohibited nursing homes that receive federal funding from inserting mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts admitting new residents to give greater assurances of the care provided to its residents. This rule impacted most nursing homes in this country.
Missouri residents look to nursing homes to provide a high standard of care for their loved ones and to handle family members with compassion, competence and care. We expect there to be adequate staff to ensure patient's health and safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and the instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise, which has the ability to not only devastate the patient but also their family members.
There comes a time in a Missouri resident's life when they can no longer take care of themselves and cannot rely on family members to do so either. It may be because of old age or cognitive or physical ailments-whatever factors led to the decision for a family member to enter a nursing home, it is not an easy one to make. Many people conduct their research and visit many nursing homes before they find one that they believe will cater to their elderly family member's needs.
The sad reality is that as people age, their conditions, both mental and physical, eventually diminish. Although there are exceptions of course, for many of the elderly, when they enter their golden years of the 70's, 80's and 90's, there will inevitably come a point in time when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Many of the day to day tasks we take for granted, preparing meals, running errands, cleaning the house, even bathing and using the facilities, often becomes very difficult or impossible for the elderly.
While we all expect medical professionals, whether they are nurses, doctors, or aides, to make every effort to assure that a satisfactory standard of care is applied to everyone in a nursing home, the reality is that sometimes is not the case. And these conditions may be overlooked if not noticed by a family or friend visiting the victim.
It happens all too often throughout the United States, including the Saint Louis, Missouri, area. A loved one enters a nursing home, and the family finds out that the elderly loved one becomes a victim of abuse or neglect. A daughter from Minneapolis, Minnesota, suspected that her 94 year old father, a World War II veteran, was not receiving the proper care after her family admitted him to the nursing home. Her father is suffering from dementia and is legally blind, and he was unable to talk about any potential neglect. She could not prove any neglect, but noticed a worsened condition of her father since entering the facility. How did she prove the neglect?
Seeing an elderly loved one's mental or physical health decline can be both sad and worrisome for residents of Missouri. Not only may they feel their loved one is slipping away from them, but they may also worry about their loved one's ability to care for themselves. This situation is often what prompts them to place their loved one in a nursing home, where they are supposed to receive the care needed to keep them health, safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is an all-too-common situation that may put a resident's health and safety in jeopardy.