As Dansker points out, many times, nursing home residents are frequently unable or even afraid to speak out about problems in their facility, so family scrutiny is required at all times.
Bedsores are never acceptable and it can indicate that proper care is absent. "If the person is incapacitated, they have to be turned on a regular basis," says Dansker. "Bedsores can cause horrible infections, and even lead to amputations of limbs, or even death."
"This is very, very serious and should tell you proper care is not being given," he adds.
Nursing home residents have a right to be kept clean and comfortable; unfortunately, Dansker advises, this is not always the case. "If you are visiting on a regular basis and see that your loved one is dirty, unkempt, smells bad, and the area is not clean—this is an issue," says Dansker.
"What we see frequently is falling," says Dansker, who is a partner with the firm of Dansker & Aspromonte Associates in New York.
"Perhaps the nursing home resident is trying to get out of bed and go to the bathroom," says Dansker. "Perhaps they are ringing for the nurse or attendant to help them. But if no one shows up and they try to get to the bathroom on their own, they could fall and and break a hip."
"Allowing an elderly person who can't manage on their own to be a in situation where they fall," says Dansker, "then that is very often an actionable event."
"In fact, these are all actionable issues," says Dansker.
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"If the individual is not getting reasonable care," says Dansker, "and by that we don't mean great care, or even perfect care, we simply say reasonable care, then that is a problem."
Be vigilant for bruises or signs of violence. "These things do happen unfortunately," says Dansker. Or there could be problems with their medication such as incorrect dosages or even simply the wrong medication. It all calls for hyper vigilance.
Paul Dansker is a partner with the firm of Dansker & Aspromonte Associates in New York City. He is a graduate of the Brooklyn Law School and also holds a degree in Business Administration. The firm has achieved substantial multi-million dollar recoveries in medical malpractice and personal injury cases.