Nursing home abuse has become a nationwide problem that society must address. In Delaware alone, over 46 percent of residents in nursing homes were the victims of actual harm in 2008. This study, conducted by the University of California-San Francisco, also reveals that problems with unsanitary food, poor quality or care, insufficient staffing, incomplete care plans, development of bed sores and outbreak of infections are also rampant throughout
Delaware. It is important for family members to be aware that these problems are common in nursing homes so that they can protect loved ones if necessary. Family members who are concerned that their loved ones are the victims of abuse or neglect can get in touch with a Delaware elder abuse attorney for help with their legal issues.
In addition, family members should also get in touch with a nursing home lawyer if a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident environment. Over 80 percent of Delaware nursing homes were discovered to have deficiencies in having an accident-prone environment in 2008. Accident-prone environments in nursing homes occur when liquid is left on the floor, objects are in the hallways, staff members are improperly trained for transitions and equipment is broken.
Delaware Nursing Home Laws and Regulations
Nursing home facilities are subject to strict regulations under 16 Delaware Code, Chapter 25. Under Chapter 25, a nursing home facility must provide proper assistance in daily activities that include transferring the patient, physical therapy services, bathing, eating, toileting, grooming and dressing. When staff members fail to provide these essential services to residents, neglect or abuse results. A resident can suffer from dehydration or malnutrition when he or she does not receive proper meals. A resident can suffer from severe injuries when physical or chemical restraints are used to control the resident.
Title 31, Chapter 39 “Adult Protective Services,” of the Delaware Code also provides for the protection of nursing home residents. Under §3902, abuse has been defined to mean behavior that causes pain or injury to nursing home residents or emotional abuse that demeans residents. Exploitation refers to the improper use of a vulnerable nursing home resident for profit or another advantage.
If a nursing home resident is being abused, then he or she has the right to receive protective services in Delaware. These protective services include an investigation of his or her case, psychiatric evaluation, assistance in obtaining new and proper care, transportation, home visits, and food and shelter provisions.
Fight for the Rights of Your Loved One
The rights of nursing home residents have also been clearly articulated under federal law. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 provides that nursing homes have the right to be free of chemical or physical restraints, free from abuse or neglect, right to communicate freely, right to be treated with dignity, right to privacy. When these rights are violated by nursing home staff members, residents are entitled to receive civil monetary damages. In addition, nursing homes may face sanctions that include denial of Medicare or Medicaid admissions. Nursing homes may also have their provider agreements terminated.
Every Delaware nursing home resident has the right to be treated with care and respect. If a resident is not treated with this care and becomes the victim of abuse, then family members or workers have a duty to report the abuse to authorities. Under the Delaware Code, §3910 codifies the duty to report that workers in the nursing home have when they notice signs of abuse and neglect.
Speak with Delaware Nursing Home Lawyers Today
A Delaware elder abuse attorney can speak with you about your case today. For a free initial consultation, call a nursing home abuse lawyer to receive help with your case. Family members have every right to investigate situations in which they believe a loved one is suffering from abuse, exploitation or neglect. Our attorneys are here to help families and residents throughout the State of Delaware in such areas as:
A Delaware elder abuse attorney will be a strong advocate in aggressively investigating your nursing home abuse claim today.
Nursing Home Negligence
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years.(Title 10 (Courts and Judicial Procedure, Limitations of Actions), Chapter 81 (Personal Actions), §8119 – Personal injuries)
- 2 years from date of injury with Discovery Rule. Claimant is afforded an additional year if injury could not be discovered with reasonable diligence. Children under age six have 2 years, or until their sixth birthday to bring a claim (Title 18 (Insurance Code), Chapter 68 (Health Care Medical Negligence Insurance and Litigation, Subchapter VI (General Provisions),§6856 – General limitations)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years with accrual with Discovery Rule. (§8107 – Actions subject to 2-year limitation)
- Adult Protective Services – (Title 31 (Welfare), Chapter 39 (Adult Protective Services))