Any older adult living in a nursing home could become the target of one of 2 different actions, both of which can harm the targeted person. One group of actions gets classed as abuse. It is improper or harmful behavior, which is generally committed by a member of the home’s staff.
Another group of actions gets classed as neglect. It is a level of care that fall below the standard of care. The government expects delivery of that standard of care, as spelled out in government regulations. In Ontario those regulations can be found in the Long-Term Care Homes Act.
What sorts of actions can be called abuse?
• Assaulting the older patient, or performing some other violent act and directing the violence at the patient.
• Stealing something of value from the patient;
• An excessive use of restraints on any given patient
What sorts of actions would qualify as neglect?
• Poor administration of medicines;
• Inadequate staffing;
• Failing to monitor the patient’s food or water intake;
• Not having enough doctors;
• Not having plans that can meet patients’ needs; For example, not being ready to transport a patient to a doctor’s appointment or to a treatment facility.
• Not having a plan to be used when caring for patients during an emergency. Not having an backup generators; not having extra oxygen tanks.
How to deal with evidence of abuse or neglect
You need to speak with patient, get details on the abusive or neglectful act, the one that injured your loved one. It is important to take pictures of injury and of any object that was used to inflict that injury;
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Cornwall and show these pictures to them. When you are working with lawyer, study the regulations in the Long-Term Care Homes Act. Make a list of times when the nursing home failed to follow a given regulation, one that has been stated in the studied Act. You need to have the injured patient examined by the family doctor, or other physician, one that is not affiliated with the nursing home. File a copy of that same doctor’s report.
Ask your lawyer to obtain information on the nursing home’s history. Make a point of checking for mention of an offense that copies the details of an offense that the investigated nursing home committed earlier. With the help of your lawyer, find out if anyone else has sued that particular nursing home. If so, what was the outcome of that case?
Visit some other care homes (nursing homes) in the area; see how each of them compares with the one where you have seen evidence of abusive or neglectful behavior.
Work with your lawyer to prepare a strong case against the facility that has done a poor job of caring for your loved one.