When your aging parent struggles with daily tasks or has a challenging medical condition requiring care beyond what you can provide, a nursing home may be an appropriate solution. But unfortunately, if your loved one’s health deteriorates while living at a facility, you may experience feelings of hopelessness and betrayal.
However, you can take steps when you suspect your parent suffers the consequences of abuse or medical malpractice.
What are common forms of abuse?
Common red flags indicating your parent may be a victim of nursing home abuse may include:
- Weight loss
- Bruises and lacerations
- Excessive sleepiness
- Inexplicable bank account transfers
The following organizations can launch an investigation or help relocate your parent if the nursing home’s administration dismisses your concerns.
- Kentucky Department for Community Based Services
- Office of Inspector General, Division of Health Care Facilities and Services
- Office of the Attorney General
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman Agency
- Kentucky State Police Department
What qualifies as medical malpractice?
Nursing homes are also responsible for harm resulting from medical negligence and errors by staff members who:
- Do not have appropriate medical training
- Fail to consider drug interactions or proper dosages
- Disregard residents’ symptoms
- Fail to monitor vital signs
- Fail to report a need for urgent care
- Misdiagnose new symptoms
You may file a medical malpractice claim against a nursing home when mistakes and negligence lead to severe or irreparable harm. In Kentucky, you have one year to file a court claim and must prove that another nursing home would avoid the same outcome through appropriate care under comparable circumstances. Also, you must show that your parent’s condition is directly due to a failure to provide reasonable medical care.
Although most nursing homes have high standards of care, immediate action is critical when you suspect abuse or medical malpractice.