W

Waiver of immunity – A means authorized by statute by which a witness, before testifying or producing evidence, may relinquish the right to refuse to testify against himself or herself, thereby making it possible for his or her testimony to be used against him or her in future proceedings.

Wandering Wandering (also referred to elopement) refers to a cognitively impaired person moving about a nursing home or long-term care facility without appreciation for where they are going. In some cases of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may attempt to leave the facility. A nursing home resident’s propensity to wander / elope should be identified in an initial care plan and preventative measures should be implemented by the facility.

Warfarin – A blood thinning prescription medication. Read more about nursing homes’ obligation to regulate warfarin levels here.

Wheelchair lift – An assistive device that helps lift wheelchairs in and out of transportation or up and down stairs and in and out of pools. Here is more discussion of wheelchair accidents in nursing homes.

Whistleblower –  A person from within an organization who raises awareness about problems and wrongdoings that are going on in that organization. This is an example of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a nursing home employee.

Will – A legal declaration that disposes of a person’s property when that person dies.

With prejudice – A declaration which dismisses all rights. A judgment barring the right to bring or maintain an action on the same claim or cause.

Without prejudice – A declaration that no rights or privileges of the party concerned are waived or lost. In a dismissal these words maintain the right to bring a subsequent suit on the same claim.

Witness – One who personally sees or perceives a thing; one who testifies as to what he has seen, heard, or otherwise observed.

Wound care – Assistance in helping a wound heal.

Wound vac – Machine that uses negative pressure to help heal an open wound.

Writ of certiorari – An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal.

Wrongful death – A cause of action the family of a person who was killed due to negligence or improper conduct of another party.  A lawsuit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate and any recovery is usually distributed according to a distribution set forth in the decedents will. Every state has a civil “wrongful death statute,” or set of statutes, which establish the procedures for bringing wrongful death actions.

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