The most obvious claims against nursing homes involve providing poor care to residents. For instance, sometimes nursing homes allow residents to get bed sores when they should not, and sometimes nursing homes fail to feed and provide baths for residents. Other claims against nursing homes involve outright abuse to the elderly. This can include verbal abuse or physical abuse.
In addition, federal and Florida statutes and rules create duties of the part of nursing homes to provide adequate staffing, nutrition, medical care and otherwise to meet the reasonable needs of the residents.
Frequently, nursing homes neglect law suits rely heavily on the documentation provided by the nursing homes. Nursing home patient records, "charts," are voluminous and contain a great deal of information about the care given to the patient. The law requires that copies of these charts be provided within a specified period of time after a patient or personal representative requests them.
If abuse is suspected, it is wise to obtain the charts quickly, as doing so reduces the opportunity for a guilty party to alter the contents of a chart.
It should be remembered that there is no substitute for visiting relatives in a nursing home. Doing so not only brightens the day of the nursing home resident but it also puts the nursing home on notice that relatives are observing the care given to the resident. Moreover, it shows the nursing home workers that the resident is loved by his/ her family and it has the effect of encouraging the workers to do a better job caring for the resident.