According to the National Caregivers Library, 1.2 million individuals live in the nearly 30,000 assisted living facilities in the United States. With that in mind, it can relieve the stress of helping your loved one enter a new chapter of life by moving to an assisted living facility. When you make the decision to help your loved one move into an assisted living facility, you probably have their best interests with safety and health in mind.
However, each assisted living facility is independently run, and no two facilities will be exactly alike. Although there are rules and regulations surrounding the operation of assisted living facilities, accidents can and do still happen. If your loved one in an assisted living facility recently suffered injuries from an accident, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Work with an Oklahoma City assisted living accident lawyer when you call our offices now.
Assisted living facilities are ideal for people 65 and older, who do not need constant supervision but would benefit from round-the-clock resources for health and wellness. Living in an assisted living facility is intended to help your loved ones maintain the maximum possible amount of independence and dignity through active aging. Assisted living boarding usually consists of apartment-like complexes, with kitchen equipment, a private bedroom, and bathroom. Assistance is usually provided in some way through the help of medication administration, daily oversight, or activities for wellness.
In an assisted living facility, your loved one has a set of rights that are intended to help protect them through the ups and downs of aging. As people age, they become more vulnerable to abuse in its many forms: Physical, emotional, psychosocial, financial, and more. According to the National Consumer Voice, these are the same rights that were first established by the Federal government’s 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act.
Not only does the Nursing Home Reform Act improve the standards for assisted living facilities, it gives residents and their loved ones a foundation of rights to draw upon, should anything go wrong. The act essentially stipulates that assisted living facilities are required to provide services and activities to “attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being” of every resident in accordance with a written care plan that is initially prepared, with the participation, to the extent practicable, of a resident, a resident’s family, or a legal representative.”
Additionally, the Oklahoma Statutes bolsters support for assisted living facilities with specifications on the standards of buildings and living quarters for each resident. There are specifications on accessibility equipment and building codes to ensure that every resident maintains as much independence and freedom from harm as possible. State legislature makes it clear that all staff are to be informed of assisted living resident’s rights too, explaining that each assisted living center and its staff shall be familiar with and respect all resident rights and responsibilities listed in Sec. 1-1900 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
However, elder abuse still happens in assisted living facilities. If you are looking to work with an Oklahoma City assisted living accident lawyer after an accident, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Call our offices today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
Legal Options for Assisted Living Accidents in Oklahoma City
Because freedom from abuse of any kind is specified in state and federal laws, there are many ways to go about removing your loved one from a harmful situation, and holding all liable parties accountable for their actions.
The National Institute on Aging outlines these basic identifiers for some of the different types of abuse older people can experience in an assisted living facility, noting that these types of abuse can happen in the home of an elderly individual, a family member’s residence, or an assisted living facility:
- Physical abuse: Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical pain, bodily harm, injury, or depriving the elderly of a basic need.
- Emotional abuse: Inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts.
- Neglect: Refusal or inability of those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or safety.
- Self-Neglect: Neglecting one’s own wellbeing by hoarding; poor hygiene; failure to take necessary medicines; failure to provide oneself with enough food, education, or other basic needs.
- Abandonment: Desertion of someone who has taken responsibility for treatment or custody.
- Sexual: Non-consensual sexual contact; coercion to observe sexual behavior.
- Exploitation: Illegal collection, misuse or concealment of funds, property or properties.
This is not exhaustive of the ways your loved one could be affected by abuse in an assisted living facility. Two important things to remember when it comes to elder abuse, is that your loved one may be facing multiple types of abuse at the same time, and neglectful behavior still has negative consequences on your loved one’s well-being, whether or not it is intentional.
Reporting Assisted Living Abuse
It is within the rights of residents, their loved ones, and medical providers, to report abuse when it happens. In fact, most licensed medical professionals are required to report abuse if they know about it, or risk facing a loss of licensure.
Of course, if your loved one is in immediate danger, the best choice is to contact law enforcement for immediate action. For less urgent issues, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services covers every county in the state through identified districts. Using their district map can be helpful for knowing which hotline to contact when reporting abuse of your loved one. Additionally, each assisted living facility has a designated local care ombudsman, who can help with filing a claim of assisted living facility abuse.
Once your loved one is out of immediate danger, contacting a lawyer can help you organize your thoughts, evidence, and emotions when it comes to holding liable parties accountable. Do not wait for things to get worse before seeking legal help.
For a free legal consultation with a Oklahoma City Assisted Living Accidents Lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 794-0444
Work with an Assisted Living Accident Lawyer
Protect your loved one’s rights with an Oklahoma City assisted living accident lawyer when you work with the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins. Our first priority is getting you the legal compensation you deserve for the negligent behavior of someone else.
Call our team for a free consultation, and begin building a case to protect the people you love.