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Claims Against Massachusetts Nursing Homes for Abuse of the Elderly

This subject makes me sick.  I cannot believe how this can happen, but it does.   It makes me so sick that I wanted to share this article I found over at CBS Channel 3 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The article  illuminates what families need to know if a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Massachusetts.  Here it is:

Abuse and neglect of frail and vulnerable elders is a growing problem in our society. As the population grows older, the problem of nursing home neglect will also continue to grow. Although many elders hesitate to file negligence claims against the nursing home, it is the best way to effectuate change and demand that the elderly be treated with respect and receive the medical care they deserve.

Q: What is nursing home neglect?
A: Nursing home neglect occurs when one or more of the nursing home employees fail to provide the minimal standard of care that we all deserve. A case arises when a nursing home employee acts improperly or fails to act and the elder is injured.

Q: What should I do first?
A: If you or a loved one are the victim of nursing home neglect, you should take immediate action to ensure your safety. First, make sure you get the care your deserve and need. Each case is different and requires a different response. If your primary care physician is not the negligent party, contact the physician so that he can make the necessary arrangements to improve your care. If necessary, get transferred to the emergency room. Contact a lawyer to discuss the matter as soon as possible as the time immediately after the incident is crucial.

Q: To whom should I report the incident?
A: The State of Massachusetts has an agency specifically created to investigate nursing home neglect. Report the neglect to the Department of Public Health, Division of Health Care, 10 West Street, Boston, MA 01028, and they will complete a thorough investigation. The Department of Public Health will provide you with their findings upon request.

Q: What are some of the examples of nursing home neglect?
A: Examples include: a physician's improper treatment or failure to treat which results in serious injuries or death, a nurse*s failure to administer the proper medication or comply with the physician's orders, and a nurse's aide's improper technique while transferring a patient resulting in a fall. Theses are only a few examples. You should contact a lawyer to discuss the details of your case.

Q: What types of injuries occur due to negligence?
A: The injuries can range from severe bed sores and fractured bones to death. These are only a few examples. You should contact a lawyer to discuss the details of your injuries.

Q: Who can file a claim for nursing home negligence?
A: The victim can file a claim. However, many times an elderly patient is incapable and is not in a position to take action on their own. If the elderly patient is incapable, a family member or friend has to petition to become the guardian so that legal decisions can be made. The first step is to consult with an attorney to discuss the facts and review the options.

Q: How long do I have to file a claim?
A: An injured party has three years to file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is not filed within three years the individual loses their right to do so forever. A claim for injuries should be made as soon as possible. We strongly recommend a consultation with an attorney to discuss your legal rights as soon as possible after the incident is discovered.


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