Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), more commonly known as nursing homes, often face negligence lawsuits because of the complex nature of the care they provide. Caregiving for residents in these facilities is typically for a longer term than for patients in hospitals, and nurses must be attentive to the needs of residents who may not be able to care for themselves.
This kind of neglect is often tied to elder abuse, and it is shockingly common. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that in a survey of 2,000 nursing home residents, 95% said that they had witnessed neglect or been victim to it themselves. That is not the standard of care.
In response to COVID-19, many nursing homes have closed to the public and isolated their residents in order to prevent the spread of the virus. However, many fear that this will limit oversight from loved ones andwill increase the amount of abuse and neglect that residents suffer.
Many concerned family members may investigate suspected neglect by observation and talking with the resident, but that isn’t enough for a court. A medical expert witness can explain the standard of care and what a competent medical team should have done in a given situation.