According to the latest statistics over 400,000 people in the UK are currently in residential care of some form. Should the time come when loved ones need that additional support and are no longer able to live independently, they are entitled to expect to be looked after properly and treated with dignity and respect.
Ensuring that the right level of care is provided at the right time
Those with caring requirements may need help with various aspects of personal care, medication and nutrition and, as a result, can often be heavily reliant on those with the responsibility for their care. The frail and those with existing health complications can deteriorate rapidly and might struggle to communicate any change in their condition. Effective systems must be in place for the monitoring of residents’ health and escalation where necessary to healthcare professionals to ensure that the right level of care is provided at the right time. Any failure to provide the appropriate level of care can have significant consequences for those reliant upon them.
It is common for those admitted to a nursing or care home to have restricted mobility resulting in significant amounts of time spent in bed or in a wheelchair. Pressure ulcers or bed sores can develop quickly, causing significant pain to the resident combined with the risk of serious health complications. However, with the right care, pressure ulcers are very often avoidable. Preventative measures such as an appropriate risk assessment, monitoring of the areas where sores are likely to develop and repositioning can reduce the risk of a sore developing and any failure on the part of the nursing or care home to take such steps could amount to negligence.
High risk residents
Those in residential care should also be considered at a high risk of falls and measures should be in place to lessen that risk. A risk assessment, appropriate mobility aids and supervision when mobilising can reduce that risk. When a fall does occur, the consequences for the frail and the elderly can often be severe and it might take a long time for them to recover from the effects of the injury. Any remaining independence that the resident had might be lost entirely, resulting in additional care and treatment needs, either whilst they recover or, perhaps, on a permanent basis.
Seeking legal advice as a result of substandard care
Often a combination of simple steps, such as monitoring food and drink and regularly reviewing care plans can make the difference to the level of care provided, but when harm does occur as a result of substandard care, we can advise you on making a claim on behalf of a loved one.