When a loved one needs to live in a nursing home or assisted-living center, it's expected the patient will receive a high standard of care. Certain laws are in place to protect nursing home residents, and facilities must retain minimum levels of quality in order to remain licensed to care for those with special needs. Owners and employees of facilities who neglect or mistreat their patients risk the closure of their practices, fines, and even criminal charges.
In an incident that shows just how important it is to run a safe facility for disabled adults - and how serious the repercussions can be - the owner of a Boonsboro assisted-living home has been charged for an accident that injured a resident. After an 84-year-old Alzheimer's patient fell through an unfinished floor and was seriously injured, police say the owner didn't summon an ambulance until at least five hours after the accident. The elderly woman suffered a head injury and broken ribs and vertebrae.
Investigators say the owner tried to cover the incident up before admitting he didn't lock a stairwell door that would have prevented the patient from entering the second-floor renovation area. Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has revoked the facility's license, and the owner was charged with reckless endangerment and neglect of a vulnerable adult.
Injuries such as the ones this patient suffered can result in permanent disability, additional medical expenses, and hardship and heartache for patients' families. When a facility's negligence causes the injury of someone under its care, patients and their families have the right to pursue compensation.
Source: CBS Baltimore, "Md. Revokes Assisted-Living Home's License," Mar. 8, 2013