When you or a loved one has been harmed in a nursing home, an attorney who has regularly advised and represented clients in nursing home injury or abuse matters can help you to achieve a cost-effective and timely resolution. To learn more about legal services, contact our firm to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with an experienced nursing home injury attorney.
At Hemminger Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, we have been representing individuals in personal injury and nursing home neglect cases for more than 30 years. We believe the first step to protecting yourself and your loved ones is understanding your rights.
The following Iowa nursing home injuries information provides general insight into the application of law in cases of nursing home abuse. For experienced legal counsel, contact the attorneys at Hemminger Law Firm and schedule a free initial consultation. We can help you protect you and your loved ones from elder abuse.
Nursing Home Injuries:
Individuals reside at nursing homes or long-term care facilities to ensure that they are well cared for. Patients may be any age; however, most nursing home patients are elderly persons who need assistance with basic care. Nursing homes provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Along with basic necessities, we expect residents to be treated with dignity and respect. Dignity and respect include the right to privacy, communication with loved ones, visitors, control over medical records/decisions and a good quality of life. However, sometimes nursing home residents do not have a good quality of life and are mistreated while in the care of a long-term facility. Mistreatment may be in the form of abuse, neglect or exploitation by a staff member or other individual in the care facility. If your loved one is a patient who has been harmed in a nursing home, contact an experienced and compassionate Iowa nursing home Injuries attorney at Hemminger Law Firm in Des Moines, IA, to learn about your legal options.
Negligence in the Nursing Home Setting
A nursing home is generally a facility that provides shelter, food and care for the sick, elderly or infirm. Different terms are used to describe a nursing home facility, such as: rest home, old age home, convalescent home, special care facility, assisted living facility or retirement facility. Nursing homes are often thought of as facilities for the elderly. While it is true that a majority of residents in nursing homes are elderly, residents may be a person of any age who is dependent either mentally or physically for care. Although these care facilities provide health care by trained professionals, they are not hospitals and may have different requirements according to state and federal law. A common state or federal requirement is that nursing homes must provide a general standard of care based on what similar caregivers and facilities provide in the community. Facilities that do not meet this general standard of care may be liable for violation of state and federal negligence laws.
What Your Rights Are as a Resident of a Nursing Home
The Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 is a federal law that guarantees to residents of nursing homes certain rights. In order to benefit from federal funding sources, such as Medicaid or Medicare, nursing homes must abide by the statutory requirements for resident rights guaranteed by the law. In general, the rights guaranteed under federal and state laws relate to quality of life, dignity, respect and the ability of residents to make their own choices.
Special Considerations in Proving Damages in Nursing Home Abuse
If a resident has been injured in the care of a nursing home facility or at the hands of a nursing home employee, action must be taken. There are special legal considerations involved when proving nursing home injuries. Mental suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment in life, shortened life expectancy and malicious and reckless conduct by the nursing home staff are just some of the injuries for which damages may need to be proved in cases involving nursing home abuse.
Statutory Protection of Nursing Home Residents
The abuse of nursing home residents has come to the attention of the public in the past few decades. The frequency of abuse was shocking not only to the public, but to lawmakers as well. Some of the abuse brought to light included: physical abuse, deprivation of food, water or medical care and residents being taken advantage of financially. When the widespread nature of this abuse and neglect became known, state and federal legislatures enacted laws to protect elderly persons and other nursing home residents.
Nursing Home Injuries Resource Links
Administration on Aging
Contains information on the Older American’s Act, State Ombudsman Programs and an expansive directory of websites on aging.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s official website.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over.
Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly
Non-profit organization, based in Philadelphia, dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable older people.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMC)
The federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid.