Baltimore Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Holding Nursing Home & Assisted Living Facilities Accountable
In our society, we may not be able to provide our aging relatives the medical care they require and deserve; often times, we turn to nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to provide proper care and treatment. As the individuals living in these facilities require such high levels of care, we hold the operators and healthcare providers at these facilities to certain standards. Unfortunately, these facilities sometimes fail our loved ones due to blatant malpractice and neglect. Nursing home abuse happens all too often, and this type of medical malpractice is unacceptable and punishable by law.
The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A.’s team of experienced Baltimore nursing home abuse lawyers have handled numerous cases of nursing home and assisted living facility neglect. We carefully review all of the medical records associated with the individual’s care to determine what happened. With our extensive experience with nursing home neglect cases, we can help your family through this difficult time. Contact us today for a free legal consultation!
Identifying Common Types of Elder Abuse
Nursing home workers must take reasonable actions to protect the residents from foreseeable injury or harm. When they breach this duty of care, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
Examples of nursing home medical malpractice can include:
- Wrongful death
- Medical mistakes
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to provide medical care
While responsibilities of assisted living facilities vary, in Maryland, negligence or abuse of a resident can be defined as any physical, sexual, mental, or verbal mistreatment. It can also include the improper use of restraints, medications, or seclusion.
FAQ on Nursing Home / Assisted Living Facility Abuse
How Is an Assisted Living Facility Different from a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes provide care and assistance to residents who are unable to perform many activities of daily living. Skilled nurses and nurse’s aides are generally available to provide 24-hour care and assistance for patients. Although many people associate nursing homes with elderly residents, these facilities also provide rehabilitation to individuals who have experienced a significant accident or illness. The services provided by a nursing home include room and board, personal care assistance, medication monitoring, and recreational activities.
Assisted living facilities have staff available to help residents who are unable to live independently but who generally do not require around the clock care. Assisted living facilities also provide opportunities for socializing and recreation among the residents. While nursing homes are usually subject to uniform regulations, laws regulating assisted living facilities can vary greatly state by state.
What Are the Responsibilities Facility Staff and Care Providers?
Caregivers in nursing homes are responsible for providing care 24 hours a day and are strongly regulated by both state and federal law. While laws vary from state to state, each facility must have a registered nurse (RN) on staff to serve as the director of nursing.
In addition to the director of nursing, facilities also have a number of CNAs. They assist residents with their activities of daily living, including toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, and the management of medications. Staff members are required to be licensed and certified by the state nursing boards.
In Maryland, the duties of the staff depend on the level of care for which that facility is licensed. Facilities who accept residents with a “low level of care” are required to provide occasional assistance with activities of daily living, assist with medication, and provide occasional access to social and recreational services.
Facilities that provide a “moderate level of care” are required to administer necessary medication and treatment, provide substantial support with two or more activities of daily living, and ensure access to necessary health services and interventions.
Facilities that provide a “high level of care” must provide comprehensive support as frequently as needed, and can generally provide a greater level of medical intervention and supervision.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
Any member of the nursing home or assisted living facility staff may be liable for abuse, including the medical director, nurses, caretakers, and other healthcare providers. Because nursing homes provide medical services to their residents, the staff members have a duty to protect the residents from foreseeable harm.
Some assisted living facilities are not licensed to provide comprehensive medical care or assistance, though all are required to adhere to a list of resident rights, which includes the right to receive treatment and care that is in compliance with state and federal law. Assisted living facilities cannot market themselves as “assisted living facilities” unless they have obtained a license. If the person operating the facility has not been licensed or has failed to provide an adequate level of care, they may be liable for medical malpractice or civil fines.
I Fear My Loved One Is Being Mistreated By Staff. What Can I Do?
If you are concerned that your loved one is being subjected to abuse, neglect or malpractice, speak with the staff about your concerns. Maintain a journal of your observations. Make notes about any unusual injuries or behaviors, along with the date and time that you observed them. Keep a log about any conversations you have with the staff and any attempts they make to resolve your concerns. If available, contact the facility’s overseer to help you address your concerns.
The records that you keep will be especially useful if you contact a nursing home abuse attorney at any time. The lawyer can review the information to determine whether the nursing home violated the standard of care that is common to other nursing facilities. If they have, the facility may be liable for medical malpractice.
How Do I Prove Abuse Occurred?
In order to prove that abuse occurred in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you must be able to prove three elements. First, the plaintiff must prove that the nursing home owner or employee breached a duty of care they owed to the resident. The plaintiff must also prove that the resident suffered an injury due to the breach. Last, it must be proven that the staff member’s conduct was the cause of the injury.
You are not alone at this time. Contact our firm today to discuss your case with a nursing home abuse attorney in Baltimore. We have 50+ years collective experience!