A New South Wales man has died and it appears that the nursing home where he resided may have been aware of his medical problems, but the staff did not try hard enough to treat him. This sort of medical negligence in nursing homes involving staff falling short in their duty of care is a common problem.
The case of nursing home neglect
ABC News reports that a Sydney nursing home is being sued by a daughter and granddaughter who are claiming that their father/grandfather with dementia suffered medical negligence at the hands of staff.
The daughter explained to ABC that "When we went to the nursing home and asked about when did dad stop eating, is it in his records somewhere to say he stopped feeding himself? If he has stopped feeding himself, why isn't someone feeding him?"
She continues to describe how the staff failed to give him water, too: "I asked why they didn't have a drip on him to hydrate him and they said they didn't do that either, they didn't have the facilities to do that."
The grandfather's death certificate lists the causes of death as malnutrition, dehydration and a respiratory infection that slowly worsened over a number of weeks.
The case was investigated by the Federal Government's Aged Care Complaints Scheme, and it was indeed found that the grandfather's needs were not being adequately attended to.
"This was a significant factor in his decline," the report states.
All necessary documentation of the grandfather's decline was filled out, but the nursing home did not properly perform its duty of care.
Make a claim
Aged care facilities can sometimes fail to act to address the deterioration of their inhabitants' physical and mental conditions.
However, by failing to act, they are in violation of the law by shirking their duty of care. The Australian Aged Care Commissioner states that your rights as a recipients of aged care services include being treated with respect and dignity and having your medical needs met by good quality care. However, the man in the above case was not having his needs met nor was he being treated with respect or dignity.
Take note that this man may be deemed to have suffered deliberate abuse since he was malnourished. Gerard Malouf and Partners, though they don't handle cases of deliberate abuse, they do take claims of medical negligence. Schedule a consultation with us and we can give you expert advice to determine if you may have a medical negligence claim on your hands.