According to a 2013 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report, approximately 39,100 assisted living facilities provide housing and services to 733,300 residents on a daily basis. Amenities and services vary between facilities, but one common idea is that facilities should never abuse or neglect their residents. However, not all facilities abide by this. If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect, call the New York assisted living abuse attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates.
Protect your loved one’s rights; call our lawyers today: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
What You Need to Know Before Filing an Abuse or Neglect Claim
Not all adverse conduct at an assisted living facility is abuse or neglect. Because residents at an assisted living facility are responsible for managing many of their needs alone, the facility is only liable for failure to provide services contracted in the resident’s agreement.
For example, if a resident is responsible for taking her medication and fails to do so, the facility typically will not be liable for this inaction. A caveat to this situation would be if the facility was responsible for obtaining prescription refills and delivering them to the residents and failed to do so. In that situation, the facility prevented the resident from obtaining her medication and is therefore liable for neglect of that resident.
Some instances of neglect, such as unsafe living conditions, are inexcusable and can be neglect of the resident’s right to safe living quarters. Other facility concerns, such as abusive staff and negligent security, can also be types of assisted living abuse or neglect.
Common Types of Assisted Living Abuse or Neglect
The DOJ’s report found that verbal altercations between staff and residents were the most common self-reported incident of perceived abuse among direct care workers (DCW). Of the 12,555 DCWs who replied, approximately 9 percent said this type of abuse occurred most often. The 1,376 surveys received from assisted living administrators, the most common abuse was destroying things belong to a resident. The most commonly reported types of abuse were verbal altercations and humiliating remarks made to residents.
Some unique types of abuse or neglect that can occur in an assisted living facility setting are as follows:
- Failure to respect a resident’s privacy/forced entry into a resident’s private living quarters
- Refusal to assist with reasonable transportation or medical needs
- Denied access to amenities provided for in their residency contract
- Allowing unauthorized persons to enter the grounds without purpose or escort
- Failure to address hazards in the residents’ living quarters or common areas
Liability and Remedies for Assisted Living Abuse or Neglect
Liability for the mistreatment of residents in assisted living facilities may fall on several parties. DCWs may be liable for direct abuse or neglect in instances of verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse.
The assisted living facility administrators can be liable for allowing known abusers to work at their facility or failing to address residents’ complaints.
Outside vendors such as repairers can also be liable for causing or failing to remedy unsafe living conditions during repairs or additions to the facility.
To begin seeking remedies for the abuse or neglect your loved one sustained, you should start by filing a complaint with the administration. If the facility does not resolve the situation to your satisfaction, or grave injury has occurred, you may take your case to your local ombudsman. If your loved one is in immediate danger, the police may also need to intervene.
If your complaint has to go beyond the facility administrator, or it has caused grave injury or death to your loved one, you should speak with an elder care attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates. Our legal team can assist with investigating and resolving legal complaints about damages against assisted living facilities.
We help families seek damages for physical injury, emotional damage, sexual battery, and financial misconduct.
Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case review.