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You may not consider the difference between nursing home abuse and neglect since you probably view this misconduct as intolerable and horrific regardless. However, there are key distinctions as explained by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Abuse involves intentional acts, such as sexual assault, hitting, slapping, or other types of physical mistreatment. Neglect is a caregiver’s failure to provide the resident with the basic necessities of life, including nutrition, shelter, clothing, and medical care. In other words, nursing home neglect is the breach of the duties imposed upon the facility by Maryland statutes, regulations, or the contract.
While neglect may not sound as devastating as intentional physical abuse, the implications for the resident can be just as extreme. Fortunately, Maryland law does not draw a distinction when it comes to legal rights: You can hold the facility accountable for misconduct and recover monetary damages for physical, emotional, and financial losses. A Maryland nursing home neglect and abuse attorney will assist with all important tasks.
Examples of Nursing Home Neglect
One of the biggest challenges with identifying patterns of neglect is the lack of obvious injury. When you are a loved one concerned about the well-being of a resident, it is often necessary to take a deeper look and recognize subtle signs. For instance:
Negligence may come in the form of a lack of sanitation and cleanliness, both in common areas and residents’ private spaces.
Missed medications are often a sign of understaffing, communication issues, or failure to follow instructions.
Bedsores are an indication that a resident who is immobile has not been shifted or moved regularly from a wheelchair or bed.
Nursing home falls affect around 50% to 75% of all residents. These incidents are often the result of a resident trying to move after not being properly monitored by staff.
Nursing Home Neglect and Your Rights
There are numerous Maryland statutes and regulations aimed at protecting residents from neglect and abuse, so reporting is critical. While these laws may impose a penalty on the offending assisted living facility, there are also civil remedies. Residents and their families can take legal action through a nursing home neglect claim, usually starting with an insurance claim. Many matters are resolved by settlement, but you will need to file a lawsuit if you cannot reach an agreement.
Through a settlement or litigation, it is possible to recover:
- Medical costs;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Many other losses that affect the resident’s quality of life.
Consult With a Baltimore County Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
Time is of the essence if you suspect a resident is at risk of mistreatment by an assisted living facility, both for getting the person to safety and enforcing your rights. For additional details, please contact the Law Office of William F. Mulroney right away to discuss the next steps. You can call our location in Owings Mills at (443) 352-8433 or go online to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home neglect attorney.