Families invest significant time and resources when choosing a nursing home for an elderly loved one or another family member who cannot live independently. These facilities (including retirement homes and long-term hospital stays) provide essential care to people who, due to advanced age or disability, are unable to fully care for themselves. When we entrust our loved ones to a nursing home, we feel a strong sense of safety and security in knowing they are being closely and competently monitored and all of their needs are being met. When seriously harmful neglect or abuse occurs, that trust is broken. For both the victim and the family, the results can be devastating.
Nursing Home Lawsuit
What is Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?Nursing home abuse generally refers to a specific intent to cause harm to a facility resident. Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home or its staff break the rules set by the government and nursing home industry designed to keep you safe.
- Physical assault
- Improper use of restraints
- Sexual abuse and/or assault
- Financial exploitation
- Emotional abuse
- Failure to give residents timely medical treatment
- Failure to treat medical conditions such as cuts that lead to infections
- Failure to prevent bed sores and pressure ulcers
- Causing or contributing to malnutrition and dehydration
- Poor planning leading to falls by residents
- Poor security and supervision of residents.Failing to protect residents from violence by other residents
- Poor care planning and care management
- Medication and prescription errors, including over-medicating residents
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Sadly, patients who are victims of abuse or neglect in a nursing home are often unwilling or unable to communicate the harm that is being done to them. They may worry that staff will get angry with them and treat them even worse, they may be afraid no one will believe them, or they may be simply physically incapable of talking about the terrible treatment they have received.
If you notice any of the following issues, t a nursing home may not be providing the care your loved one needs.
Warning signs of nursing home neglect or abuse include:
- A decline in personal hygiene – If a resident is unable to change their own clothes, practice good oral hygiene, bathe, groom, or clean themselves after eating or creating mess, they depend on staff for help to stay clean.
- Sudden weight loss, dehydration, bedsores or pressure sores – These conditions suggest that basic needs for food, water, and movement to change positions in a bed are not being met.
- Unusual changes in behaviour – If a patient becomes withdrawn or very quiet, or if they become agitated or scared of staff and other residents, they may not be getting the care, safety and security they need; or the may have improper medication
- Poor or unsafe conditions in the facility – Dirty and unsanitary conditions, poor security or dangerous living areas (poor lighting, equipment left in hallways, slippery floors, etc.) can be evidence of neglect.
- Unexplained injuries – Bruising, broken bones, and cuts can suggest there has been a physical assault, improper use of restraints, or a fall/accident from dangerous living conditions. If a resident is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection but does not have the mental capacity to consent, it may be evidence of abuse.
- Buying too many gifts for staff or other residents, loss of personal property or unusual bank account activity – A resident could be being manipulated for their money.
When You Or A Loved One Is Hurt, Let Us Help
As one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, Howie, Sacks & Henry has a strong track record of handling nursing home abuse, neglect and medical malpractice cases. Our team of knowledgeable, skillful and trusted lawyers has expertise and experience required to effectively represent you and advocate on your behalf in these matters.
When you contact an HSH lawyer, you can be confident that we will be attentive to your needs and concerns, compassionate in serving you during this difficult time, and respectful and professional throughout the legal process.
No amount in damages or compensation for injuries sustained from abuse or neglect will ever fully replace what you or your loved one has lost. But as your trusted legal representative and advocate, an HSH lawyer will work with you to seek financial resources that will help with the healing and recovery process and may assist you accessing better quality care.
- Long-Term Care Homes Act
- Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Privacy Health, Information Protection Act
- PHIPA Request Form
- Filing a Complaint With the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Filing a Complaint With the College of Nurses
- Advocacy Centre Elderly (ACE)
News You Can Use
- “Families Sue Care Homes, Alleging Neglect Contributed to Death of Loved Ones.” Read the Full Article on CBC.ca.
- “Proposed Class Action Lawsuits Claim Ontario Nursing Homes Were Negligent.” Read the Full Article on TheStar.com.
- ”Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuits in Canada: Paul Miller and Melissa Miller Speak to the Press.” Watch the video.
- “Meghan Hull Jacquin Discusses Nursing Home Abuse on CBC Interview.” Read More on the HSH Blog.
- Member of Nursing Home Action Coalition
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