Negligent care can happen anywhere, even in your own home. When people think of elder neglect or abuse, they most often associate it with nursing homes and care facilities. Unfortunately, sometimes elder neglect occurs in our own homes and at the hands of those we love and trust. A recent lawsuit contends just this problem. The grandson of a woman who died has filed a lawsuit against the woman’s husband. The lawsuit alleges that the husband, who was caring for the grandmother during her recuperation, failed to provide proper care, causing her death. This type of claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit.
Negligent care of the elderly happens more often than people may think. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA, many cases of elder mistreatment go unreported, possibly because they are committed by family members. Neglect is a form of abuse, which is defined as intentional actions that cause harm or injury. Negligent care includes any failure to satisfy the person’s needs. In this case, the lawsuit alleges that the husband failed to follow doctor’s orders and therefore did not provide the necessary level of care. The woman was on an oxygen breathing machine which was to be set at a specific setting. The information states that the husband turned the machine up to a level that was too high. This caused the woman to suffer brain damage and ultimately, death.
Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States. Abuse and neglect can take place in nursing homes or in the victim’s own residence, as noted in this lawsuit. While the husband in this case is not a medical professional, he was provided with instructions as to the proper use and settings of the breathing machine. He operated the machine improperly and deliberately changed the setting to a higher level. This would likely be considered a negligent action because he did not follow instructions by the doctor. Further, he adjusted the machine without knowing the potential consequences, which ultimately were deadly.
Neglect and abuse can be prevented. Those who care for loved ones in a home setting must understand the proper methods of administering care. If proper care is not possible, a medical professional may be needed either in the home setting or at a nursing facility. If changes to the elder’s condition are noticed, medical care must be immediately administered. Sometimes, a caregiver can cause harm without even realizing it. Patients must be seen by their doctors on a regular basis to ensure their safety and proper care. While we may think that we are providing the best care possible at home, the truth is that sometimes, adequate care can only be provided by professionals. In this case, the lawsuit alleges that the husband failed to seek prompt medical attention for his wife.
Elder abuse and neglect are often grouped with other forms of malpractice. If your loved one died due to the negligent actions of another, you may be entitled to file an elder abuse claim. You may receive money to pay for medical bills and other damages caused by the negligent act. Contact the skilled elder abuse lawyers at Michael T. Friedman & Associates, P.C. for a consultation to discuss your situation.
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