Many elderly and vulnerable adults with learning or other disabilities are looked after in care homes or alternative supported accommodation and housing. These homes may be run by the local authority or private companies, as is increasingly becoming the case. Some elderly or vulnerable adults may still reside in their own homes but have carers, other support workers or professionals visiting them to provide services.
Sadly, these services are not always run in the most professional manner, and abuse in care homes has been known occur. There have been a number of care home abuse cases in the news in recent years, which are traumatic for both the individual and the family. To hold those responsible to account and receive some form of compensation, it is important to make a care home abuse claim in such instances.
Who can bring forward a care home abuse claim?
When a family member or friend suffers from abuse in care homes – a place where they should be looked after by an individual – it is extremely upsetting both for them and their families. It will most likely be the case that the person who has suffered the abuse or neglect will not be in a position to complain for themselves, or to contact a solicitor or other professional for advice.
This does not prevent a claim for compensation being brought forwards for them for nursing home abuse. As a family member or friend, you may be able to bring the claim on their behalf. You would still need to use a solicitor to bring the claim but a litigation friend can be appointed to provide instructions on behalf of the elderly or disabled person.
If you are unsure whether you could qualify as a litigation friend to make a claim regarding abuse within care homes on behalf of a friend or family member, contact Jordans and we can help work out whether you are eligible.
What type of care home abuse claims can be made?
Abuse can take many forms, including:
- Intentional physical and sexual assault
- Accident and injury through carelessness
Abuse is a deliberate act inflicted upon a care home resident and can include hitting, kicking, pushing, restraining and biting. These can cause severe injuries and the impact can often be seen by others through bruising, cuts and marks.
Emotional abuse can be harder to identify but is sadly still present in many care home abuse cases. This inflicts psychological and emotional trauma on residents through name-calling, insults, threats and isolating or limiting their control. Should someone in care seem fearful then it could be a sign of psychological abuse.
Neglect abuse can be both intentional and unintentional – but either way it is still grounds for making a claim. Examples range from leaving residents alone for a long time to not providing enough food or drink, forgetting or administering the wrong medication, failing to clean their rooms and more.
We have dealt with care home abuse cases in the past that cover each of these instances.
Who can care home abuse claims be brought against?
If the claim relates to intentional physical or sexual abuse/assault then the claim is more straightforward and can be brought directly against the employer of the individual who committed the abuse, without having to prove any fault on the part of the employer. Often the home will be run by a private company – the employer in such a case – but it may be a local authority. In either case, we would be looking to show evidence of any abuse in the care homes to bring forward a case.
Should the complaint relate to neglect abuse or mistreatment, then a claim of negligence may be brought, which means that a certain level of fault/blame may have to be proven. This can be more difficult to prove and more evidence will be needed.
What can we do?
At Jordans, we have dealt with many claims of care and nursing home abuse across Yorkshire and beyond, such as The Solar Centre. Our specialist solicitors are aware of the difficult and sensitive issues that can arise around abuse within care homes and have experience dealing with a wide variety of different circumstances.
We realise this is a sensitive issue and treat every case with compassion. While we cannot change what has happened regarding abuse in care homes, we will endeavour to recover compensation to allow you to seek the required support to rebuild your life.
With offices in Wakefield, Dewsbury, Selby and Horsforth and the ability to act for victims of care home abuse nationally, contact us today for help and advice around care home abuse and making a claim.
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