In the past few weeks, there has been an increased concern over instances of elder abuse in nursing homes in Ohio during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you probably have heard some people say, “There’s no need to panic, coronavirus is killing only people with underlying conditions and elderly ones,” as if some of the country’s population is expendable.
Nursing homes and assisted care facilities are designated to keep elderly individuals safe at a period in their lives when they’re no longer able to care for themselves. It is horrifying to learn that these adults are abused or neglected while staying in assisted care facilities and nursing homes. Some of them have become ill or died because of the spread of coronavirus in these facilities.
It may not be possible to prevent diseases or loss of life in every situation. However, a nursing home can be held liable for infections and the death of a patient in their care, particularly if the leading cause of the illness or death was negligence. If your loved one suffered injuries while in a nursing home due to negligence on the part of the staff members, the facility could be held liable for the injuries.
Suing a Nursing Home for Neglect
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you had the right to sue a nursing home for neglect and abuse. There are regulations in place to protect the residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, even during the coronavirus outbreak.
Abuse takes many forms. These include mental abuse, mistreatment, financial exploitation, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and more. Neglect consists of an improper response to emergency situations or failure to provide the expected medical care.
For instance, several nursing home neglect and abuse claims were filed after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. Whenever an emergency arises, an appropriate response is necessary. The lives of the residents within the assisted living facility should always be a priority. If nursing homes neglect their residents during such situations, they should be sued. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t an exception.
Why file a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Neglect?
Well, nursing home neglect lawsuits serve many purposes. For instance, your claim serves as a justice for your relative who was neglected or abused during the coronavirus outbreak. Staff members who acted recklessly or failed to respond appropriately should be held accountable for their actions.
The lawsuit could result in financial compensation for the relative. Some of the damages that are likely to be paid out in such a lawsuit include;
- Medical expenses.
- Mental trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income (for close family members who responded to the situation)
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Permanent or severe health effects.
Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid issued a set of guidelines that all nursing homes must follow to protect the elderly population from the spread of COVID-19. These include clinical guidelines on how to prevent and control the spread of infections in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is now a global health crisis that demands many changes. However, the needs of residents and patients in these facilities shouldn’t be handled negligently. Though visiting such facilities is highly restricted, you should always keep in contact with your loved one to ensure they are getting proper care.
Seek Legal Counsel
Neglecting or abusing elderly residents of nursing homes is never acceptable, even during a crisis like a coronavirus outbreak. Many nursing home staff members don’t want their residents to contract this contagious virus. However, they must ensure that their actions are appropriate under all circumstances. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, consult with a nursing home abuse attorney.