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Nursing Home Injuries – An Overview

Sadly, when people age, they become more vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Some older people opt to move into nursing homes or long-term care facilities to ensure that they are well cared for, and will be protected from the effects of their deteriorating physical and/or mental conditions. In these settings, however, older people are sometimes actually physically and/or psychologically harmed by the negligent or intentional acts of their caregivers.

If your loved one is a patient who has been harmed in a nursing home, contact an experienced and compassionate nursing home attorney to learn about your legal options.

Many people in the U.S. discount the feelings and rights of the elderly because they associate aging with physiological, psychological, and social disability; however, this attitude is unwarranted and unfair. Senior citizens should be allowed to live out their lives free from pain, suffering, and distress caused by the negligence or abuse or others. One could argue they have an even stronger right to live in peace and comfort than any other segment of society, given the contributions they have generally made to society over their many years.

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Negligence in the Nursing Home Setting

If you or a loved one has been harmed while a nursing home resident, contact an attorney for advice about protecting your legal rights and seeking recompense for injury.

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What Your Rights Are as a Resident of a Nursing Home

A nursing home or its owner, or proprietor, can be held liable for negligence in failing to properly care for its residents.

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In such a case, the injured resident must prove: 1) that the nursing home’s owner or employees breached a duty of care owed to the resident; 2) that the resident was injured by this breach; and, 3) that the nursing home owner’s or employee’s conduct caused the injury. In a case where a resident dies because of the nursing home’s negligence, it is not necessary to prove that the resident would have survived if not for the negligence. If the defendant accelerated the resident’s death at all, it may be liable for the death, and if the negligence caused the resident additional pain and suffering, the nursing home can be liable to the resident’s estate.

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Special Considerations in Proving Damages in Cases Involving the Elderly

A party who brings a claim against a nursing home will want to bring out all evidence of the losses or suffering that resulted from the nursing home’s conduct, and should attempt to provide as much information as possible on the following types of damages:

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Statutory Protection of Older Persons

The frequency of mistreatment of older people came to the attention of the general public and lawmakers in the early 1980’s. Numerous cases, in which older people were being physically harmed; deprived of food, water, or proper medical attention; and divested of their life savings by caregivers and relatives, were brought to light. When the widespread nature of this abuse and neglect became clear, state legislatures started to enact laws to address these problems.

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Nursing Home Injuries Resource Links

Administration on Aging.
Contains information on the Older American’s Act, State Ombudsman Programs, and an expansive directory of Web sites on aging.

Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s official website. This site is your gateway to a wealth of information on Alzheimer’s disease. Mission is “to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.”

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. It provides information and resources; advocate on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assist members to serve their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for members.

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