There are many types of residential care homes available, including permanent homes for older people, young adults with disabilities and children. They may be privately owned, run by the voluntary sector or under local authority control. Most people living in care homes are elderly or vulnerable.
Currently, over 376,000 older people live in more than 10,000 care homes across England. Many are frail, requiring prescription medication for existing health conditions and around 40% suffer from dementia. The average lifespan of an elderly resident following admission to a care home is one to two years.
The purpose of residential care is to provide personal or nursing support. Homes offering personal care will ensure basic needs are met, such as meals, bathing, going to the toilet and medication. In some cases, more able residents have greater independence and look after many of their own needs.
Sadly, there are instances when the care provided in residential homes falls below an acceptable standard and this can result in injury or harm to the patient, for example:
- The development of pressure sores
- Errors administering medication
- Head injuries or fractures as a result of a fall or error when handling the patient
Many injuries can be avoided with proper assessment of an individual’s needs and provision of adequate supervision, including:
- Full risk assessment, reviewed and updated on a regular basis
- Measures to prevent the development of pressure sores
- Proper monitoring of health and nutrition needs
- Use of appropriate mobility aids and procedures when mobilising patients
- Development of a full care plan that should be communicated to the patient and family
- Appropriate treatment for conditions such as incontinence to reduce the risk of infection
- Proper communication between staff and maintenance of clear clinical records
- Regular and prompt access to a doctor for appropriate medical care
When a family or friend suspects their loved one is not receiving care of an acceptable standard, or they have a specific complaint about a home or its staff, it can be very distressing. Often people are unsure how or with whom to register their concerns and the matter is often complicated by worries that making a complaint will have further effects on the individual’s care.
Taylor&Emmet helps families pursue complaints about residential care. If you are concerned about the welfare of a relative or loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case in more depth. If a friend or relative has suffered an injury whilst staying at a home and you would like to make a complaint, our friendly solicitors will be happy to explain how to take this further.
Compensation can provide improved quality of life for someone who has suffered as a result of unacceptable care and it is possible to make a claim for the following if they result from an injury:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Medical and nursing care costs
- The cost of painkillers
- Travel expenses
- Any other costs incurred
Please contact our expert team in total confidence and at no obligation. We will do our utmost to help.
Failed nursing care
An 80 year old man was admitted to hospital for intensive treatment in relation to depression. His condition began to improve and his family hoped that he would be discharged in early July 2008.
Unfortunately, patients who suffered from both depressive illness and illnesses such as dementia were treated together. One evening, the gentleman was assaulted by another patient on the ward who was known to have a violent and aggressive history due to an ongoing mental illness. The elderly man sustained severe blunt head injuries and sadly, his condition deteriorated and he died three days later.