A nursing home is a type of long-term facility where an elderly and/or disabled person can live and obtain medical treatment. Many families choose an alternative to nursing homes by taking care of their family member at home. In many instances, respite care is available for assistance.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care gives a caregiver or individual a break from the daily routine of taking care of the elderly/disabled person. Caregivers can have some free time to take a break or complete other responsibilities. It also always a person receiving care to spend time with someone besides her caregiver.

What Does a Temporary Caregiver Do?

A person who temporarily takes over for the full-time caregiver typically:

  • Provides companionship
  • Provides in-home care
  • Provides personal care such as assisting with bathing and exercising
  • Adult daycare 
  • Prepares meals
  • Gives required medications

Who Provides Respite Care?

It can be provided by friends, family, or an agency that provides medical workers for in-home care.

Can I Sue a Respite Care Worker for Abusing My Family Member?

Yes. Elder abuse is the neglect or abuse of an older individual. Laws prohibiting elder abuse also generally protect any disabled person over the age of 18 years old.

What Do I Need to Prove In a Lawsuit Against the Respite Care Worker?

First, the plaintiff must determine what type of personal injury was caused by the person providing respite care. For instance, in a negligence claim, a plaintiff must show:

  1. The defendant had a duty of care to the harmed individual
  2. The defendant breached their duty by harming the victim
  3. The individual receiving respite care was actually harmed by the defendant
  4. The defendant’s actions led to specific injuries

For example, a negligence lawsuit would include elder abuse if the defendant failed to provide care an ordinary person would under the same or similar circumstances.

Do I Need to Discuss My Respite Care Lawsuit with a Lawyer?

Yes. To determine the type of lawsuit you need to file and how to proceed, contact a elder lawyer. The lawyer will explain your rights and the rights of the elderly or disabled person in your care.