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Long-Term Home Care Negligence: What Should You Do?

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Legal

Neglect in long-term care home settings is a terrible thought for families confiding in these institutions to provide care to their loved ones.

Learning to spot the warning signs of long-term home care neglect and knowing the basics about the legislation is a great place to start. Seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer such as Joshua Goldberg will help navigate your case.

Our aging population is going to continue doing just that – aging. Long term home care will continue to be in demand, and people will seek and confide in these institutions to provide care for parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. Of course, you should have high expectations and demands for a place that is caring for someone you love, and these long-term home care settings have the obligation to provide proper care.

Our aging population is going to continue doing just that – aging. Long term home care will continue to be in demand, and people will seek and confide in these institutions to provide care for parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. Of course, you should have high expectations and demands for a place that is caring for someone you love, and these long-term home care settings have the obligation to provide proper care.

Long-term home care settings must be specialized to take care of special needs such as complex medical conditions. These conditions can include dementia, heart problems, and restrictions on mobility. Moving someone you love into long-term home care can be a delicate and tough matter, so it’s heartbreaking when the most vulnerable members of Canadian society succumb to neglect. Let’s investigate some nursing home negligence facts and tips on how you can recognize warning signs as to best protect your loved ones. 

What is Long-Term Home Care Negligence?

Long-term home care neglect is a kind of elder abuse that occurs in a nursing home setting. This negligence revolves around the needs of elders not being met which results in suffering. This is a breach of duty on the part of the caregiver or facility management. Examples of long-term home care neglect can include not calling a doctor or nurse on time, not changing clothes or bedding when needed, not providing enough water or food – and other examples where physical and mental health aspects are not addressed properly and lead to suffering.

This paints a serious picture. Victims and their families should seek legal advice, such as from personal injury lawyer Joshua Goldberg. There is no time to waste if you suspect a long-term home care negligence case and want to take legal action to pursue recovery of finances and hold the nursing homes accountable for their malpractice.

Why Does Nursing Home Negligence Occur?

Just as in any establishment, there are many aspects that contribute to issues such as negligence. Understaffing, careless hiring and not enough focus on training and re-training staff are all examples. In addition, the demand for these services will only continue to grow, putting more pressure on the need for legitimate staff both in nursing/caregiver roles as well as operations and management.

Long-term home care demand is forecasted to increase dramatically in Canada in the coming years. By 2035, almost 200,000 long-term care beds – which is double the current capacity – is expected to be needed. Our elders are the most vulnerable members of Canadian society. The proportion of older Canadian seniors (aged 65+) is predicted to increase to 39.4% in 2045. Therefore, it is important that nursing home negligence needs to be kept in check over the coming years.

Warning Signs of Long-Term Home Care Negligence

Visiting your loved ones regularly can help you see warning signs of long-term home care neglect and stop them before it becomes a cause to seek legal help.

One of the most essential documents in evaluating negligence or abuse is to look at a nursing home chart that contains records of when the patients was attended to, fed, as well as other parameters if measured such as weight, activity, food, water intake etc.

If you see the following signs of negligence, start questioning the quality of the home’s care and strongly consider the help of a personal injury lawyer like Joshua Goldberg.

Poor Hygiene and Sanitation: If residents do not look healthy and clean, this probably means staff are not able to keep up with personal care. Many residents need help with common tasks like bathing and brushing teeth. Further, if the clothing, living areas and bedding look unclean and the facility looks unkept then your loved one is already on some level, receiving neglect from the long-term home care facility they are in. Take this as the first warning sign to look out for as it may be easiest to spot early on.

Reduction in mobility: long-term home care programs should strive to have regular programs and in place to keep residents active and mobile. If you see a reduced amount of mobility or the onset of a new issue with mobility, then the residents may be receiving improper care.

Reduced mental health

Reduced mental health: Neglect is abuse and can lead to great emotional duress. If you notice your loved one acting with anger or distrust towards the staff, there is likely a reason, and it may stem from improper care. Living in fear and the development of emotional or psychological issues due to long-term home care neglect are more common than we think.

Inadequate nutrition and other physical injuries: If your loved one has suddenly lost a large amount of weight, has developed papery skin, is complaining about being tired, irritable, cold, or is experiencing more hair loss than usual, then this could point to malnutrition at the nursing home. Unexplained injuries can also mean that staff does not have adequate protocols in place to prevent or report injuries.

Do you Need Legal Help?

If you suspect your loved one is suffering as a result of long-term home care negligence, then you can seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. When elder neglect occurs that results in harm, it is considered a breach of duty, or a breach of form of substandard care.

It is important to remember that it is not just physical but emotional attention that can be lacking and result in negligence. When a resident is neglected, he or she does not receive the proper physical or emotional attention required. This can have serious long-term consequences but also short-term ones – such as a failure to give a prescribed medication on time. This can be life-threatening.

Legislation To Know About in Ontario Concerning Long-Term Home Care

In late 2021, the Ontario government enacted the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 (FLTCA) which brought significant advances for patients in long-term home care.  The Covid-19 pandemic, concerned families, public and of course residents, helped bring this topic to the forefront in the last couple of years – ironically – decades of neglect and underfunding. The FLTCA commitments include increased staffing, higher direct hours of care targets per patient, better protocols for accountability of long-term home care facilities and providing more modern beds.

These safety measures ensure that residents are protected from abuse, neglect, and that they are adequately fed, clothed, and sheltered. Long-term care homes also have a duty to ensure the safety of their residents while they are on the premises, pursuant to s.3 Occupiers Liability Act.

Don’t Wait to Start a Case if You Suspect Long-Term Home Care Neglect

If your loved one is very elderly, it may be unlikely or impossible for them to file a claim themselves especially if they have other medical conditions. As such, you must gather essential documents such as nursing chart records, photos (of injuries, weight loss etc.) to help in the legal case. If you suspect an injury, it’s important to note that how the injury occurred will play a role in determining whether to sue, which itself can be difficult and may require an expert review.

If you believe that long-term care home negligence has occurred to you, or to someone you love, it is prudent to call a personal injury lawyer such as Joshua Goldberg, whose experienced will help you navigate your claim and allow you to receive the compensation and respect you deserve.

Joshua Goldberg Law helps many individuals who have been denied disability insurance in court.

Call or email us today for a free case assessment and consultation: 416-943-6585, info@jgoldberglaw.ca. Don’t wait – contact us right away to discuss your options.

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