What is the “reasonable standard of care” for nursing homes?

If you are among the many people across Alabama who have had to make the difficult decision to place an older loved one in a nursing home, you probably understand just how difficult a task this can be. When you entrust someone else with providing care for your loved one, you want to believe that this person will provide the same degree of love and attention that you would, but unfortunately this is not always the case. Employees of nursing homes and continuing care facilities must exercise a “reasonable standard of care” when providing for your loved one, but this is a difficult concept, and related matters are not always black and white.

According to NursingHomeAbuseGuide.org, whether an act falls within the “reasonable standard of care” for nursing homes varies broadly based on case and individual-specific considerations. In other words, what constitutes a reasonable standard of care in one situation may not do so for another, leaving room for disagreement and possible litigation.

To determine whether a facility provided a reasonable standard of care for your loved one, a judge or court will likely look at current nursing home industry standards, and see how they compare. In some cases, you may have little trouble demonstrating that your elder loved one’s injuries or illnesses were, at least to some degree, the result of unreasonable treatment. To prove successful in litigation, however, you must typically also show that a facility or staff member’s failure to provide reasonable care was the direct cause of your loved one’s injury or illness.

This information about the reasonable standard of care in nursing homes is informative, but it not a replacement for legal advice.

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