When nursing homes deviate from the standard of care that residents are due, they can cause serious harm. Recent incidents in Connecticut show how nursing homes lapsed in their patient care. The South Windsor Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center was fined by the state Department of Public Health for two residents who had dramatic weight loss, and staff failed to properly take care of them. A nurse’s aide also hit a resident, and the facility failed to take action on this incident.
Facilities that withhold food, water, and medications can be found liable of negligence. Internal controls should be in place to monitor residents’ health, weight, eating habits, and concerns. These issues should be addressed, documented, and followed up in a resident’s care plan. It is the staff’s duty to follow and reassess treatment protocols as needed to ensure a patient’s wellbeing.
In certain circumstances, a profound failure to monitor nutrition and hydration can cause serious consequences, including death, in a resident. Lack of documentation and insufficient staffing can lead to liability. It is also a best practice to keep the senior’s family involved in the care, and alert them if care or food is being refused, the resident is combative, or needs other services.
An incident at St. Joseph’s Manor in Trumbull showed the facility did not provide an adequate environment to keep residents in the facility and prevent wandering or escaping. In the fall, two residents with dementia were able to leave the facility through a broken door that was open. Bayview Health Care Center in Waterford was also fined for not giving residents ID bracelets or other forms of identification.
Actively monitoring the premises is a must to ensure patient safety is upheld. Documented site inspections on a routine basis and security systems should be in place to protect residents. Access to facility vans and worker vehicles should be secure so that an enterprising individual cannot take off without warning.
Individuals and their loved ones who are concerned that a nursing home is engaging in neglect or abuse should contact the Connecticut Department of Social Services aging services division, which is in charge of adult protective services. Elder abuse or neglect can involve a wide range of concerns, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse as well as neglect, abandonment, and exploitation. A Connecticut nursing home abuse lawyer should also be contacted so that further harm is prevented, and a facility can be accountable for its wrongdoing.
Alexandra Reed writes for Connecticut personal injury law firm, Stratton Faxon. Contact Stratton Faxon to speak with a Connecticut accident lawyer about your personal injury, wrongful death, or Connecticut malpractice case. To learn more, visit Strattonfaxon.com.