It is not always easy for individuals in Massachusetts to place an aging loved one in a nursing home. When an elderly loved one is placed in a nursing home, much trust is placed in the facility and its staff to provide adequate and safe care of the tenant. This is why it is very upsetting when family members discover that a loved one is not being properly cared for in a safe environment. When loved ones believe there is evidence of abuse or neglect, they could file an elder abuse claim.
There are several factors that could contribute or lead to abuse and neglect claims against a nursing home facility. This often includes an unqualified or poorly trained staff, a staff with a history of violence, not enough staff members, isolating residents and failure to maintain the safety of the facility.
When a claim is filed against a nursing home, the facility could be held responsible for the injuries caused by the neglect or abuse asserted in the claim. In order to prove liability and hold a nursing home responsible, three types of proceedings could occur and, depending on the situation, all or some of these could occur.
First, an investigation and findings by an adult protective agency will occur. Next, a civil action in the form of a lawsuit against the nursing home for damages could be filed. Finally, a criminal action could be filed against the nursing home.
With regards to civil actions being filed against a nursing home by a loved one, there are four major causes for these claims. First, it could be based on the negligent personal supervision and care of the elderly loved one. Next, the claim could be based on negligent hiring and retention of employees at the facility. Third, the claim could assert negligent maintenance of the facility and surrounding premises. Lastly, the claim could be based on the negligent selection or maintenance of equipment used at the facility.
When it is apparent that an elderly loved one is not receiving adequate care at a nursing home, this can be a difficult situation to address. Furthermore, if there is evidence of abuse or negligent, loved ones should be aware of their rights regarding filing a claim and seeking damages for the injuries and losses caused by the incident.
Source: Injury.findlaw.com, "Nursing Home Abuse Claims," accessed Sept. 21, 2015