Nursing Home Negligence

When a parent moves into a long-term care home (often referred to as a ‘nursing home’), we expect that they will be in a safe environment. Many of the individuals living in nursing homes are completely dependent on the care that is offered at the home. We expect that their care needs will be met and that they will live comfortably in their ‘golden years’.

Nursing homes are highly regulated under Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes Act. Despite all of the applicable laws and standards, poor care and abuse in nursing homes is not uncommon. Some of the reasons for this include a lack of adequate staffing, training, oversight and management. When nursing home residents are neglected, their quality of life suffers, and this can result in serious injury or even death.

What Constitutes Neglect in a Nursing Home?

Neglect occurs when staff at a nursing home do not follow the standards set out in legislation and those set by the industry. Neglect includes:

  • Failure to properly administer medications
  • Failure to provide proper medical treatment
  • Inadequate supervision of residents
  • Causing malnutrition and dehydration
  • Failure to prevent bed sores
  • Failure to keep the premises safe to prevent slips and falls

Common Signs of Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, many residents may be unable or unwilling to communicate their concerns or the harms that are being done to them. Reasons for this may include not wanting to trouble loved ones, fear of retaliation from the staff, and/or mental incapacity. As a result, it is important to recognize some of the common signs of nursing home neglect, including:

  • Bed sores
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in behaviour
  • A decline in personal hygiene
  • Damage to clothing or personal items
  • Unexplained injuries such as bruises and cuts
  • Unsanitary conditions, including soiled bedding, dirty furniture and equipment, and bugs

These are just some of the potential signs to look out for. Sometimes neglect happens over time and it is based on a pattern of conduct and not just one incident. For this reason, installing a camera in a resident’s room may be helpful in monitoring care. However, there are number of legal issues to consider before doing so. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and obligations when it comes to installing a camera in a resident’s room.

Legal Assistance from the Lawyers at Advocai

The process for addressing neglect can be as simple as notifying the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. However, this course of action may not lead to meaningful change, and it will NOT result in the resident and his or family receiving compensation.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, breach of contract, incurred health care expenses, and future care costs. Compensation is especially important in this context, because it can provide the victim with the means to afford more appropriate care in the future.

Once retained, we will investigate the conduct of the nursing home. We will consult with experts to determine if the home failed to meet the standard of care, and if the failure caused or contributed to the damages suffered by the resident of the home. We will obtain and review all relevant records and interview all relevant witnesses and experts in order to assess the quantum of damages.

At Advocai, we have a special interest in helping elderly clients and their families get the compensation they deserve. We have extensive knowledge about the standards of care required in Ontario nursing homes in addition to all areas of personal injury. We will ensure the matter is handled promptly and carefully. Contact Advocai today for a free consultation.

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