Nursing homes have a big responsibility in caring for our elderly loved ones. That is why state and federal regulators have implemented a number of laws and regulations aimed at ensuring safety in nursing home facilities. Being aware of these regulations can be important for you and your loved one not only to ensure that proper care is received but also to prevent nursing home abuse.
The nursing home program of care
One important regulation to be cognizant of is the one pertaining to a program of care. Under Virginia’s regulations, an individualized program of care must be developed for each nursing home patient. This program must address five key aspects of nursing home care:
- Ensure that the resident’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are met
- Seek to ensure that the resident achieves the highest level of functioning possible
- Ensure that the resident is properly protected while receiving appropriate supervision
- Ensure that the resident has a sense of security
- Provide the resident with the opportunity to engage in community programming
These requirements may seem straightforward, but sadly, far too often, nursing homes come up short in fulfilling their obligations. Nursing home residents are often left harmed as a result.
How nursing homes breach the program of care
There are a lot of ways that nursing homes fail to adhere to these standards. For example, a nursing home may be so understaffed that it leaves nursing home residents without the appropriate level of supervision. This can leave a resident vulnerable to abuse by another nursing home resident.
A nursing home might also fail to properly vet their employees, which means that nursing home residents might be susceptible to abuse by nursing home staff. Making matters worse is that nursing home residents may be dissuaded from reporting abusive behaviors, and the nursing home may not have the proper procedures in place to ensure that an abused resident receives proper medical care.
Hold an errant negligent home accountable
Nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than most people realize. Yet, despite this fact, many people attribute nursing home injuries to accidents and unforeseen events, rarely following up on what actually happened. This leaves elderly individuals even more vulnerable, and it lets egregious behavior slide as if it is acceptable.
Don’t let this happen to your loved one. If you suspect that they have been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect, now is the time to take action. Start asking questions of your loved one, nursing home staff, and other residents to try to get a better sense of what actually happened to your loved one. You may also want to gather your loved one’s medical records and any incident reports that may exist at the nursing home.
Do you need an advocate on your side?
We know that taking action against a nursing home can seem daunting, but do not allow yourself to feel so overwhelmed that you just want to forego the legal process altogether. To make the process easier on you, you may want to talk to a legal advocate who has experience navigating these kinds of claims.
By working closely with an experienced attorney, you can learn how best to approach your case so that you stand the best chance possible of finding accountability and recovering the compensation that your loved one needs and deserves.