Alzheimer’s disease is a serious disease that affects millions of older Americans. Its debilitating symptoms rob individuals of their most precious memories while taking a toll on their physical well-being. When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a significant amount of responsibility may be placed on you to ensure that he or she is cared for adequately.
The needs of the patient are ongoing and they often require round-the-clock supervision. In an effort to handle these challenges, many people make the difficult decision to trust an outside caregiver with the daily care of their loved one. Unfortunately, these responsible parties sometimes act negligently and cause injury to individuals in their care. When this occurs, an experienced Illinois nursing home negligence attorney can assist you in securing the compensation you deserve.
What is Caregiver Negligence
Alzheimer’s patients can be extremely vulnerable, depending on caregivers for even their most basic necessities. As such, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to consistently recognize these needs and adequately respond to them. When they fail to meet this duty, the patient may become injured. According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, some examples of potential caregiver abuse and negligence include:
- Physical Abuse. This generally entails the infliction of physical pain or injury on the patient. However, it can also include the threat of harm and the withholding of basic physical needs, like shelter and food;
- Emotional Abuse. This involves the infliction of mental or emotional distress. This can result from the caregiver’s verbal or nonverbal acts;
- Sexual Abuse. This occurs when a caregiver engages in any type of sexual contact or behavior with the patient without the patient’s consent;
- Financial Abuse. This occurs when a caregiver illegally appropriates, misuses, or conceals the financial assets of an Alzheimer’s patient; and
- Abandonment. This occurs when a caregiver deserts an Alzheimer’s patient with disregard for the patient’s needs and the caregiving responsibilities.
When Alzheimer’s disease negligence occurs, an experienced attorney can assist you in proving the negligent actions and securing compensation for your injured loved one. In order to do this, you must prove that both the negligence and the resulting injury occurred. The necessary elements to prove a negligence case include:
- Duty – You must prove that the caregiver owed a duty of care to the Alzheimer’s patient. This task may prove less challenging in situations where the caregiver was hired or compensated for the specific purpose of providing care;
- Breach of Duty – Once you prove that a duty of care existed, you must prove that the caregiver breached that duty by acting in some manner that neglected their responsibilities;
- Causation – You must prove that the breach of duty proximately caused the injury. For example, a caregiver leaves the patient alone at the top of a stairway. He subsequently falls and breaks a leg. The caregiver’s action is the proximate cause of the patient’s injury; and
- Injury – You must prove that the Alzheimer’s patient actually experienced an injury.
Work with a Cook County Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Attorney
If you believe that an Alzheimer’s caregiver acted negligently, causing injury to a loved one, contact an experienced nursing home abuse and negligence attorney for assistance with your case. Serving the residents of Cook County, the attorneys of the SAM Law Office, LLC can provide you with the representation you deserve.