Witnessing a family member or friend succumb to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia is truly heartbreaking. These diseases are cruel and unpredictable, unfairly altering people’s memories, personalities and even their ability to form personal connections.
Thousands of Oklahomans entrust their loved ones to memory care facilities. But what happens when these facilities fail to provide proper protections? Unfortunately, serious injuries and even death can occur when Alzheimer’s and dementia patients don’t receive adequate attention.
Johnson & Biscone attorney Bryce Johnson has experienced this situation first-hand. He recently helped two families file negligence and wrongful death lawsuits against companies which failed to protect their patients — the patients wandered away from care facilities, directly resulting in their deaths. Both families recovered damages, and, hopefully, have motivated the companies in question to closely examine and alter their practices.
Putting a loved one’s care into a stranger’s hands is scary, but doing your research can help ease anxiety. When evaluating a facility, Alzheimers.net suggests families ask for references, understand what background checks are performed on employees, prepare a list of questions and write down important information (such as patient triggers and special needs) to share with the facility.
Bryce also suggests asking if a nursing home carries liability insurance, which is not required by law.
Even if everything looks good on paper, Bryce says families should closely monitor their loved one’s care and plan periodic visits.
“Most facilities provide quality care, but families must be diligent and visit often,” he says. “Bad things can happen, from bed sores to falls, and dementia patients often don’t have the ability to speak up for themselves.”
Before entrusting a family member to a memory care center, Bryce advises checking with the Long-Term Care Services Department at the State Department of Health for facility-specific complaints. The Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma also offers helpful resources.
If the unthinkable occurs and a loved one becomes injured, Bryce has one more piece of advice: Give him a call to discuss your legal options.
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Please contact Johnson & Biscone using the form on this page or call 405-232-6490 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and the surrounding areas of Oklahoma.