When loved ones need full time nursing care, we expect them to be treated with dignity. However, in some cases, carers take advantage of vulnerable people to gratify their personal desires.

Sadly, there are people who will abuse and take advantage of the elderly nursing home residents and others who have been placed into care homes as a result of mental incapacity or brain injury. It is often possible to claim compensation where such abuse has been discovered.

Nursing homes & residential care abuse

Nursing and care homes for the elderly and mentally incapacitated provide an invaluable service to many people across the UK, allowing beloved elderly relatives and their loved ones to receive support as they near the end of their lives.

In most cases, those in nursing homes receive excellent care, kindness and respect from those who look after them. However, in some instances, elderly residents in nursing homes are abused or neglected by the very people whose duty it is to ensure they come to no harm. In these cases, it is possible to claim compensation for the abuse of an elderly relative in a nursing home.

At Cleversons, we have personal experience of how difficult it can be to make a decision about placing a loved one into care; the worries you may have about that person’s future welfare when you are no longer able to look after them yourself; the conflicting emotions you and other family members will feel about placing your loved one into a nursing home; and the relief and confidence you experience when you know that your loved one is in a good home that is supporting their needs and treating them with compassion and dignity.

David Durkin-Finch

Partner

David has been part of the Cleversons team from the start. He's assisted hundreds of clients and takes great pride in all his work.

Why claim for elderly abuse?

Where a person has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, we appreciate that, for most people, the idea of claiming compensation will not be a top priority or even the most obvious step to take. We know that money alone cannot alleviate the suffering you or a member of your family has experienced. We also appreciate that money is unlikely to be the driving factor where abuse of an elderly relative has taken place. You may also wonder why a claim should be made by, or on behalf of, an elderly relative who lacks the mental or physical capacity to benefit from the award of compensation.

However, a claim for compensation is not simply a matter of obtaining money; it can achieve a number of things:

  • It can highlight the failures of an individual nursing home to managers and national authorities, which, in turn, can raise awareness of the risks of elderly abuse in other nursing homes across the UK.
  • It applies a financial penalty to the nursing home’s owners, which is likely to ensure that safeguarding of other residents, both now and in the future, becomes a more pressing concern.
  • It ensures the risks of claims are brought to the attention of the nursing home’s insurer, which will insist on more stringent measures to safeguard elderly residents, thus reducing the risk of the insurer having to pay compensation in future claims.
  • It can hold institutions, rather than individual abusers, to account and ensure that the risk of similar abuse for other residents is either reduced or completely negated.
  • The compensation can be used to pay for care in a different nursing home; such care may have previously been unaffordable for the family.

Claiming for abuse

Where the person being abuse or neglected is unable to claim for themselves because, for example, they do not have the mental capacity to do so, a claim can be brought in their name by a third person, such as:

  • A family member;
  • A friend;
  • Someone with a lasting or enduring power of attorney;
  • a court-appointed deputy; and
  • other third parties, such as a solicitor or a professional advocate.

A claim for compensation will usually be against the company or organisation in charge of the nursing home or against the NHS, if it is operated by the NHS. Usually, the company or organisation will be insured against such claims and can, therefore, afford to pay the necessary compensation.

Alternatively, or in addition, it may also be possible to claim compensation from the individual(s) involved but this will need to be considered in light of the individuals’ financial viability and whether they will be able to afford to pay out on a claim. Our team can advise you on the best route to take.

If the abuse has not already been reported to the police, it should be reported immediately to ensure other residents of the nursing home or care home are safeguarded. The police can then undertake the necessary investigations and enquiries and, if necessary, make arrests. We can then request information from the police and, if there has been a conviction, the courts. It will also be necessary to gather documents from the care home and/or the elderly person’s medical records.

Let us help you

    Reach out to us

    If you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing or residential care setting we can help you get the justice and support you deserve. Call our team of experts on 0203 9252 301 or complete the online enquiry form below.

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