No one enters a nursing home with the expectation of emerging from it feeling younger and more vigorous than they have in decades. People go to nursing homes because they require enough assistance with daily tasks that they cannot live alone, and they do not have any family members whose health, location, and work situation enable them to provide the care that the patient needs. Likewise, people tend to get less healthy as they age, regardless of where they live and who is providing their care. In medical malpractice cases, as in nursing home cases, not every poor health outcome is the result of negligence. If you get diagnosed with a disease that has an X% survival rate, you might end up among the (100-X)% despite your doctor’s best efforts.
Despite this, nursing homes have a legal duty to take reasonable measures to help patients maintain their baseline level of health and independence, as opposed to getting sicker. Inadequate care in nursing homes can shorten residents’ life expectancy and cause them to suffer preventable illnesses and injuries. If you think that this is why a family member of yours is faring poorly in a nursing home, contact a New York nursing home lawyer.
Providing the Right Level of Assistance With the Tasks of Daily Living
The decision to enter a nursing home is usually based on the fact that the patient requires assistance with at least two of the following tasks of daily living: bathing, dressing, feeding, mobility, and toileting. The ability to perform these functions independently exists on a continuum; it is not simply a yes or no question. For example, some people can walk without assistance, while others require a walker or support from another person, and still others require a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Likewise, some nursing home residents can eat meals without assistance, but some need help using table utensils but can chew independently. Residents whose chewing and swallowing ability is impaired may require pureed foods, a liquid diet, or parenteral nutrition.
The principle of “use it or lose it” applies to functions like walking and eating. It is more work for a nursing home employee to help you walk down the hallway multiple times per day than to have you use a wheelchair full-time, but it is in your best interest to walk as much as you are able. Likewise, it is more work to spoon-feed a resident every bite of a meal than it is to feed them a liquid diet. When nursing home employees treat residents like they are sicker and less independent than they are, it is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it is nursing home neglect.
Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC About Nursing Home Neglect Cases
A nursing home lawyer can help you if you are concerned that a family member of yours may be suffering from nursing home neglect. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC in Brooklyn, New York, or call (212)671-1110 to discuss your case.