Earlier this week, researchers in Michigan released their discoveries in a recent study seeking out the common causes of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. According to the study, the working conditions for the employees of the nursing home have a big effect on the quality of care that residents are provided.
The study concludes that worker safety and happiness are directly related to resident safety and happiness. In fact, the article relies on the premise that, for the most part, individual nursing home employees are not bad people, but they are sometimes left in frustrating situations or those in which it is nearly impossible to provide the proper level of care. Chief among the problems that can lead to an abusive or neglectful situation is understaffing. In fact, it is believed that many of the most skilled and dedicated nurses leave the private nursing home sector due to frustrations related to understaffing.
Another factor, according to the study, is the quality and level of training that the employees receive prior to being allowed to work on their own. The more training that employees receive prior to being let out on their own, the lower the instances of abuse or neglect.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Maryland
In Maryland, when a nursing home admits a person into its care, that home accepts a responsibility to the resident. This duty includes providing the proper medications and medical treatment to the person, but it extends past that as well. Also included in a nursing home’s duty to its residents is the duty to ensure that nursing home staff treats residents with dignity and respect.
In any situation when a nursing home employee or nursing home management violates a duty to the patient, and the patient suffers harm as a result, the individual employee and the facility itself may be held liable. Proving nursing home abuse or neglect cases can be difficult, however, since direct evidence is not always available. Often, allegations of abuse or neglect rely heavily on circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence, unlike direct evidence, relies on an inference in order to get to the ultimate result.
The classic example of circumstantial evidence is the “smoking gun,” a scenario when no one sees the victim get shot, but a witness sees the suspect with a smoking gun being pointed in the victim’s direction. This is not direct evidence because no one saw the suspect pull the trigger, but it is fairly strong circumstantial evidence. To relate this to the nursing home context, perhaps no one sees a patient get physically abused by an employee, but in the absence of a better explanation for the patient’s injuries, physical abuse is perhaps the most reasonable inference.
Has Your Loved One Suffered in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and believe that they may be the victim of abuse or neglect, you should immediately speak with a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney. The skilled attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience brining cases on behalf of injured nursing home residents and their families. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Family of Deceased Nursing Home Resident Sues Home Alleging Negligence, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published November 6, 2015.
Group of Nursing Homes Told They Cannot Force Arbitration by State Supreme Court, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.