The daughter of a 77-year-old nursing home resident has filed a lawsuit alleging nursing home negligence in the care of her mother. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home employees failed to report an infected ankle wound, which later required the resident to undergo amputation of the leg. The wound went unnoticed by the daughter because the resident, who suffers from dementia, was unable to explain what was wrong and the leg was always covered during the daughter’s visits.
It is recognized that nursing home residents with dementia are at increased risk for earlier death. The National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform notes that familiy visits are important as a safety net for this vulnerable population:
Family members and friends can be an important support for residents who are unable to advocate for themselves because of frailty or dementia. Frequent visits help family members and friends become familiar with the care that is being provided. This familiarity makes it easier to recognize problems with caregiving practices and can help consumers formulate suggestions for solutions based on first-hand knowledge.
This should be an interesting lawsuit to follow. It certainly highlights the important issue of nursing home abuse.