Families who have placed loved ones in the care of nursing home staff expect a certain standard of care. Often their loved ones have specific medical conditions that require constant attention and assistance.
But in some cases, patients are the victims of nursing home neglect. When a loved one dies because a nurse or staff member fails to act, families are left mourning the loss of a life. They are also left wondering if the nursing home staff can be held responsible.
One woman was placed in the care of an adult family home operator. Her family was assured that she would be examined and properly cared for by adequately trained staff. The woman suffered from advanced dementia as well as a number of other medical conditions.
The woman's family paid for the assisted living care supposedly being provided for their loved one. But the nurse who was to train the rest of the staff members failed to do so, leading to additional medical problems that ultimately caused the woman's death.
The woman developed bedsores while living at the adult family home. The staff had not been trained on how to provide treatment for this type of skin condition. Eventually the woman was hospitalized, but not after the untreated bedsores became infected. She was eventually stabilized and released from the hospital, only to die several days later.
This type of neglect is especially devastating because it can leave families wondering whether the death could have been prevented. A wrongful death lawsuit is one way that a family can hold the negligent party responsible as well as compensate the family for their loss.
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Nurse charged in probe after ailing Seattle woman dies," Levi Pulkkinen, Dec. 27, 2011