Yes, Assisted Living Facilities Are Responsible For Harms They Cause

The decision to place a family member in an assisted living facility (ALF) or nursing home is very difficult for families. Once the decision is made, families put a great deal of trust in professionals including physicians, nurses, care managers, lawmakers and inspectors. Each individual or organization is responsible for different aspects of what it takes to keep vulnerable people safe in long-term care facilities. Very specific guidelines and regulations covering nursing homes and other long-term care facilities spell out responsibilities of people who operate homes for elderly and disabled people.

After An Injury Or Unexplained Death In An Assisted Living Facility, Look For Answers — And Legal Advice

If your loved one was injured while living in an assisted living facility, you are doing the right thing by looking for a knowledgeable attorney to advise you and your family. Your loved one may have medical bills to pay. You may have suffered great emotional distress when you learned that your mother, father, husband, wife, grandparent or disabled child had suffered a burn injury, a fall, a choking accident, dehydration, malnutrition or bedsores while under the care of a retirement home.

Your loved one deserves — or deserved — a safe environment while living in an assisted living facility. After an injury, you deserve answers to questions such as:

  • Was your loved one in the right type of care facility for his or her condition? Or had he or she reached the point where a more stringently monitored area or a skilled nursing facility would have been more appropriate?
  • If your family member was in an independent living area of the facility, was that appropriate for his or her state of physical and mental health? Did your loved one belong in a more highly supervised area of the assisted living home?
  • Overall, did your loved one have a proper level of supervision for his or her condition?
  • If the resident suffered from dementia, had those people responsible for evaluating his or her condition identified this risk factor and properly placed him or her in an area of the facility providing greater vigilance?
  • Was potentially dangerous equipment (such as a microwave oven or a heating radiator with exposed hot coils) present in the person's room or apartment when he or she had demonstrated cognitive deficiencies or frailty?
  • Was the group home or assisted living home understaffed? Having too few assistants in a dining area, for example, can spell trouble. Another example: If a care manager had ordered two-person assists for transfers from bed to wheelchair, was only one assistant there when your loved one fell? And if so, why?
  • Did your loved one need a higher level of care?
  • Did your loved one suffer an injury because another resident who was not properly supervised created a situation (such as a fire) that put others at risk?
  • Did your loved one wander off and suffer an injury such as frostbite, heat stroke or a pedestrian accident outside the assisted living facility because he or she was not being monitored at the proper care level?

Action Plan

If you believe that a nursing home is providing inadequate care or causing harm to you or a loved one:

  1. Document everything that occurs, including noting anything you think is unusual or inappropriate.
  2. Complain to the facility director, administrator, director of nursing, assistant director of nursing, and any other management who might have the ability to correct the problems you experience.
  3. Keep track of the activities of daily living that you or your loved one need assistance with. If assistance is needed with more than two activities of daily living (walking, dressing, eating, medications, hygiene, toileting, etc.), assisted living may no longer be an appropriate and safe setting.
  4. Call Konicek & Dillon, P.C., if you believe that you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or fault of a caregiver.

Contact The Chicago and Geneva Assisted Living Neglect Lawyers of Konicek & Dillon, P.C.

Your loved one deserves — or deserved — proper placement, supervision and care in an assisted living facility. Konicek & Dillon, a Chicago and Geneva law firm is available to evaluate your family member's injury case and make recommendations. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Geneva assisted living neglect attorneys, call 630-313-2071, or in Chicago, call 312-239-0283. You may also contact us online.

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