When is a death in a nursing home a “wrongful death?” Many people think that people who go to nursing homes are sent there to die. While some patients go to nursing homes to spend their last days on comfort measures only, that statement is NOT true for the majority of patients.
Many individuals need help after a stroke, a fall or some other injury. Nursing homes are responsible for helping their residents in a variety of ways:
* Nursing homes are supposed to provide physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy (which is often focused on eating and swallowing difficulties).
* Nursing homes are supposed to help patients get up and be active.
* Nursing homes are supposed to turn and rotate patients who are unable to do so themselves (to help avoid bed sores aka pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers).
* Nursing homes are supposed to help residents eat and drink, and to make sure they get the nutritional intake and supplements they need.
* Nursing homes are supposed to monitor residents for signs or symptoms of abuse.
* Nursing homes are supposed to help residents maintain their dignity by helping residents go to the restroom on their own, instead of using an adult diaper or a catheter when it isn’t absolutely necessary.
* Nursing homes are supposed to keep family members involved and informed, especially if something unforeseen occurs.
* Nursing homes are supposed to watch for signs of infections, skin problems or other health changes.
* Nursing homes are supposed to work with the doctor, and be sure a resident is sent out to a hospital when appropriate.
* Nursing homes are supposed to put their patients above the almighty dollar. If a nursing home doesn’t have enough staff to provide excellent care to the patients that are in the facility – – stop accepting new patients!
If your loved one dies in a hospital or a nursing home, and their death was precipitated by the nursing home failing to provide one or more of the above, then chances are that your loved one suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect. A “wrongful death” is one that is caused or contributed to by the nursing home’s failures to do what it should have done or by doing something that is should not have done. If you believe your loved one may have suffered a wrongful death at a nursing home, call the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Goddard & Wagoner PLLC. Our attorneys help families just like yours all over West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Call Dave Goddard and Eddie Wagoner at 304-623-HELP (4357) or visit our website at www.GoddardLawWV.com.