Long Term Care Abuse Lawyers

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 What is Long-Term Care?

When an elderly individual is no longer able to take care of themselves because of medical reasons, long-term care facilities can provide the necessary medical attention and supervision the individual needs. A long-term care facility provides a place where an elderly individual can reside while always having medical personnel nearby and readily available for assistance.

What are the Types of Long-Term Care Facilities?

There are numerous different types of long-term care facilities that are available for an individual to choose from. The right facility for an individual or their loved one will depend upon the level of care that is needed as well as the individual’s financial means.

Types of long-term care facilities include:

  • Hospital-based skilled nursing facilities;
  • Skilled nursing facilities (SNF);
  • Intermediate care facilities (ICF); and
  • Custodial care facilities, or nursing homes.

What are Hospital-Based Skilled Nursing Facilities?

Hospital-based skilled nursing facilities are long-term care facilities that may also be called Extended Care Facilities. This type of facility is typically best for individuals who are recovering from:

  • Serious illness;
  • Injury; or
  • Surgery.

A hospital-based skilled nursing facility offers the highest level of care. However, it does cost the most, at $300 to $500 per day.

  • A hospital-based skilled nursing facility:
  • Offers 24-hour monitoring and intensive rehabilitative therapy;
  • Is intended for short stays, typically days or weeks; and
  • Is typically covered by Medicare or private insurance.

What are Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)?

A skilled nursing facility provides a high level of medical care in addition to personal care and assistance. These types of facilities are typically best for individuals who have illnesses or impairments that require close monitoring.

A skilled nursing facility may be fairly expensive, ranging from $200 to $500 per day. A skilled nursing facility:

  • Offers 24-hour supervision by vocational and registered nurses;
  • Offer many rehabilitative therapies;
  • Is intended for relatively short stays, typically weeks to a few months; and
  • Is covered by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.

What are Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs)?

An Intermediate Care Facility offers a level of medical care that falls just below Skilled Nursing Facilities. ICFs are best for individuals who have chronic ailments and who will be staying in the facility for a long period of time.

ICFs cater to medical needs of an individual as well as personal assistance. Typically, an ICF charges between $150 and $400 per day.

An intermediate care facility:

  • Offers 24-hour supervision by licensed nurses;
  • Is intended for long stays, often the remainder of the individual’s life; and
  • Is partially covered by Medicaid.

What are Custodial Care Facilities (Nursing Homes)?

A custodial care facility provides personal assistance and low level nursing needs. In addition, a nursing home provides recreational and social activities for the residents.

A nursing home is the cheapest type of long-term care facility. They typically charge between $100 to $250 per day.

A custodial care facility:

  • Is best for people who do not need constant medical monitoring;
  • Is intended for long stays, often the remainder of the person’s life; and
  • Is sometimes covered by Medicare.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

In general, long-term care is not typically covered by most health insurance plans. Because of this, insurance providers have begun increasingly offering separate long-term care insurance policies to cover a wide range of care options.

Individuals can purchase these types of policies for a set number of years of care or for indefinite coverage. These policies can vary significantly in terms of:

  • The payment options;
  • What care is included; and
  • How long the coverage lasts.

Obtaining long-term care insurance is a good way to ensure that an individual receives the care they need while protecting their financial assets as well as those of their family.

What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?

Elder abuse and neglect has become a growing issue over the past few decades, especially in long-term care facilities. Congress passed the Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Program in 1992 which amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and enhanced the rights of seniors.

What are the Types of Elder Abuse?

There are numerous different actions that may be considered elder abuse. This type of abuse may range from taking advantage of an older individual to physically abusing or neglecting them.

Types of elder abuse may include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical abuse, for example, hitting, pushing, or sexually abusing;
  • Mental abuse, for example, creating mental anguish, intimidating, or threatening;
  • Financial scams, for example, using the resources of an elderly person without their consent and for an individual’s own benefit; and
  • Neglect, for example, failing to take physical care of the elderly person, often resulting in physical problems.

What is Long-Term Care Abuse?

A long-term care facility is typically utilized for individuals who have specific medical or caretaking needs, including:

  • Elderly individuals;
  • Individuals who are recovering from injuries or traumas; and
  • Individuals with developmental needs.

Long-term care abuse arises when the staff or medical professionals at a long-term care facility are negligent in their handling of the patient or resident. Negligence occurs when a long-term care worker disregards their duty of care that they owe to the patient.

This may result in serious injuries, a worsening of the patient’s condition, or various other damages. Long-term care abuse is similar to other types of care-related abuse, for example, elder care abuse or nursing home abuse.

What are Some Examples of Long-Term Care Abuse?

Long-term care abuse may include numerous different types of conduct as well as negligence, including:

  • Rough or negligent handling or transporting of a patient;
  • Psychological abuse or intimidation;
  • Errors related to the resident’s nutrition or physical rehabilitation;
  • Medication errors;
  • Allowing a patient to fall;
  • Issues related to the patient’s hygiene, especially bed sores and skin conditions; and
  • Various other types of conduct that result in pain or injury to the patient.

Who Can be Held Liable for Long-Term Care Abuse?

There are many different parties that may be held liable for long-term care abuse, depending on the facts and circumstances of a case, including:

  • Physicians who are involved in the long-term care of the patient;
  • Nurses on the premises;
  • Long-term care staff; and
  • Pharmacists and other similar professionals.

In the majority of long-term care abuse cases, the legal remedies will include a monetary damages award. This award will typically be sufficient to compensate a patent for losses including additional medical expenses and other related losses.

If a case involves serious negligence or an intentional act, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to the main damages award.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Long-Term Abuse Lawsuit?

A long-term abuse case may involve severe injuries or losses and be devastating for the patient as well as their loved ones. It is in your best interests to consult with a personal injury lawyer if you have any questions or believe you may need to file a lawsuit for long-term abuse.

Your lawyer can do the necessary research for filing and litigating your claim and can answer any questions you may have during the process. Your lawyer will also represent you during any court meetings or hearings.

Medical issues can be difficult to prove in court and often require testimony from expert witnesses. Having a lawyer on your case can help ensure that you or your loved one obtains the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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