Nursing homes provide care and support for elderly and vulnerable people, who require assistance with daily activities. However, instances of neglect and abandonment in these facilities are unfortunately not uncommon. What’s the difference between abandonment and neglect, and what are your legal options when either occur?

Nursing home abandonment vs. neglect

Nursing home abandonment occurs when a caregiver intentionally deserts or leaves a resident without providing adequate care or supervision. This may involve leaving a resident alone for an extended period without arranging for someone else to provide care or failing to fulfill duties outlined in a care plan.

Nursing home neglect refers to the failure of caregivers to provide necessary care and assistance to residents, resulting in harm or risk of harm. Neglect can take various forms, including failure to provide adequate nutrition, hydration, medical care, hygiene assistance or supervision, as well as neglecting to address safety hazards or prevent accidents.

These concepts are very similar—and both can have devastating effects on vulnerable patients.

Legal options for patients and families

Here are some options patients and families can take to address nursing home abandonment or neglect:

  • Internal complaints: Patients and their families can address concerns about abandonment or neglect by filing a complaint directly with the nursing home administration. Many facilities have procedures in place for addressing complaints and may take steps to investigate and rectify the situation.
  • Reporting to regulatory agencies: Patients and families have the option to report the nursing home to regulatory agencies such as state departments of health or adult protective services. These agencies have the authority to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect and may take enforcement actions against the facility if violations are found.
  • Personal injury lawsuits: Patients and their families may pursue personal injury lawsuits against nursing homes and caregivers responsible for abandonment or neglect. These lawsuits may seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress and in rare cases, punitive damages intended to punish the facility for its negligence.

Nursing home abandonment and neglect are serious issues that can have devastating consequences for residents and their families. By understanding the differences between abandonment and neglect and knowing their legal options, patients and families can take proactive steps to hold responsible parties accountable.

Consulting with The Law Offices of Tim Misny is the best option for patients and families seeking justice. Our firm can assess the circumstances of the case, explain your legal options, gather evidence and navigate the complexities of the legal system on behalf of you or your loved one.

Discuss your case with a Columbus nursing home abuse lawyer

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can review your nursing home abuse case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.

Nursing Home Abuse