Earlier this month in New Hampshire, the Department of Public Health fined four local nursing homes for failing to comply with various rules and regulations relating to patient safety. According to one local news source, the allegations ranged in seriousness from minor infractions to serious allegations of abuse.
For example, one nursing home was found to have leaking sinks, dirty lifts, pain peeling off the wall, broken bed rails, and water dripping from the ceiling. Inspectors also noted an incident in which a resident was found to have a fairly serious abrasion that inspectors believe was caused by the home’s use of a lift without the proper padding. In response to that resident’s request for help, one nursing home employee failed to respond for one hour and 15 minutes. That employee was subsequently fired for neglecting the resident.
Another example of a lapse in care occurred at another nursing home and involved a verbally abusive resident who was not properly monitored. Evidently, the resident stated that “I can hit anyone I want to” and punched another resident. The aggressive resident was taken to the emergency room for evaluation, and the doctor told the staff that they should check on the man every 15 minutes. However, citing the unavailability of staff, the nursing home failed to comply with this recommendation.
Nursing Homes and the Duty They Owe to Residents
Whenever a nursing home accepts a resident into its care, the home takes on an affirmative duty to provide for that resident’s safety and protect that resident from the abusive conduct of others. This includes nursing home staff as well as other residents.
Over the past few years, the average age of nursing home residents has decreased. Along with that decrease was an inverse relationship to the instances of schizophrenia and other mental health diagnoses. Given these two trends, resident-on-resident abuse has become more common over the past few years.
It is important that all nursing home staff are trained on how to detect and diffuse resident-on-resident abuse. Homes that do not provide their employees with the necessary skills to handle these situations may be held liable when a resident is hurt by another abusive resident. To learn more, contact a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney.
Has Your Loved One Been the Victim of Resident-On-Resident Abuse?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they have experienced abuse at the hands of a nursing home staff member or another resident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the nursing facility. Of course, a nursing home named in a lawsuit will likely contest all the claims made against it to avoid paying out what could be a costly verdict or settlement. The skilled nursing home abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience handling nursing home abuse cases, including those arising out of resident-on-resident abuse. 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.