What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse in the State of Maryland?
Nursing home abuse, or more specifically, “Elder Abuse” is defined as any act of abuse when the victim is 65 years or older. “Abuse” in this particular case is understood to take place in a nursing home, assisted living facility, elder care facility or hospital. As defined by Maryland statute, the term “abuse” refers to the “non-therapeutic infliction of physical pain or injury.” The statute goes on to specify that elder abuse can include “any persistent course of conduct intended to produce, or resulting in, mental or emotional distress.”
It is important to understand that the law also defines situations that cannot be labeled as abuse, including the performance of an accepted medical procedure(s) as ordered by a physician. Here in Maryland, any person who believes that a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility is or has been abused, he or she is legally obligated to promptly report the alleged abuse to the proper authority, for instance the local police department or state law enforcement agency.
Sadly, such regulations can end up being ignored by those in charge of some elder care facilities and it can often be the victim’s family members that must act in their loved one’s best interest. Whether or not the abuse was reported in a timely fashion or not, if you or a another family member suspect that an elderly loved one has suffered at the hands of an uncaring nursing home staff member, it is important to understand your loved one’s rights under the law.
A qualified personal injury attorney with experienced in elder abuse cases would be one such source of legal advice. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we know that most nursing homes and assisted living facilities try to follow the regulations established to keep their residents safe and comfortable, but we also understand that medical errors and physical abuse do occur. When that happens to any senior citizen living in an elder care facility, there is no excuse for it.
If you believe that your elderly loved one has been the victim of elder abuse at the hands of a professional nursing home or assisted living facility, we encourage you to contact a qualified legal professional to understand your options. Please feel free to contact the personal injury team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, to arrange for a free initial consultation. There is no obligation and we will be more than happy to review your case and discuss the legal options available.