2020 is coming to a close, and we’ve had a complete year of uncertainty. While COVID-19 restrictions are inconvenient for some, in nursing homes they may cause a deadly situation. Nursing homes have had some of the most horrific cases and highest death rates in the United States. However, elderly care facility deaths, even those associated with coronavirus, aren’t simply explained away because of the age of the patients.
Many families are finding that deaths within nursing homes, even those including COVID-19, the flu, or health complications are wrongful deaths. The trouble is that many elderly adults face neglect and abuse while in nursing homes. This is an ongoing battle that attorneys, families, and authorities are fighting with little to show for it. It is possible that your loved one died as a result of not receiving the care they should have, and that the medical staff present knew the care they needed and failed to deliver.
Does Wrongful Death Happen in Nursing Homes?
Wrongful death refers to any loss of life which was caused because of abuse or negligence. This often happens in elderly care facilities because of physical abuse, or neglect. It is far more common than most families are led to believe that nursing homes are not a healthy environment or elderly adults who need a substantial amount of care.
The National Institute on Aging estimates that about 1 in 10 adults older than 60 are abused, neglected, or experienced financial exploitation. This can happen in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and even in a person’s home.
Treatment of the Elderly and Sickness
One of the biggest obstacles that elderly care facilities face is the availability of qualified medical staff to fit the needs of the patient. We can generally assume that most adults in an elderly care facility require ongoing Medical Care and daily treatment. This is a fair assumption, given that these adults are not healthy or independent enough to live alone. In many cases, these adults are placed into nursing homes because their family members aren’t medically qualified to provide the care they need.
However, most of the treatment in nursing homes doesn’t fall to doctors. It falls to nursing staff, and typically these facilities don’t have an adequate number of working medical staff to fit the needs of the elderly patients. It’s possible that the abuse or neglect wasn’t intentional, but was a product of mismanagement from the company or state.
About 42% of COVID-19 related deaths occurred in nursing homes or assisted living. The question is what are those deaths or concentrated so dramatically only because of the age of the patient. Or perhaps the high levels of comorbidity played a factor, or possibly nursing home staff weren’t able to provide adequate treatment.
Can COVID-Related Deaths Link to Wrongful Death?
It is possible that a death attributed to COVID-19 or basic health complications such as the flu has the underlying factor of negligence. How long had that patient gone exhibiting symptoms without receiving treatment? Is it possible that the illness was overlooked for the duration of time because of short-staffing?
There’s also the question of social distancing and safe COVID-19 practices. There could be negligence in a nursing home opening to visitors too soon or not having restrictions in place to protect their patients. These are elements that fall back to the administration overseeing the nursing home and not necessarily the medical staff working in the environment.
Some nursing homes have even taken to claiming that they’re unfamiliar with these types of social distancing and medical safety procedures. However, it is common practice for nursing homes to be closed to visitors during deadly flu seasons.
Take Action Against Wrongful Death with Cincinnati Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful death affects many families, and throughout Ohio, those families are wondering how well their loved one was treated. In nursing homes, many elderly patients don’t receive the care they should have and are unable to fight disease as effectively as younger adults. When the family is realized that the nursing home was aware of the illness, or abuse and they did not take action, that is clear negligence.
That nursing home was responsible for the welfare of your loved one. Take action against abuse and neglect toward the elderly, which resulted in wrongful death in your family. At Young, Reverman, and Mazzei, we seek to help families find peace and work toward some recovery for expenses or damages associated with the neglect.