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What is the 'reasonable standard of care' in nursing homes?

Thousands of Connecticut residents live in nursing homes. Most of these people are elderly family members who need extra care and attention due to medical issues or simply the advancement of age. When the decision is made for an elderly resident to move to a nursing home, there is an expectation regarding the level of care and medical treatment they will receive. So, what is a "reasonable standard of care" in a nursing home?

For starters, it is important to recognize the duty that medical treatment providers owe to nursing home residents. These medical professionals have a duty to exercise due care and caution in rendering care and they are expected to follow the standards of the medical profession. The tricky part when it comes to those standards is proving what the standard is and how a medical professional breached that standard.

In legal cases involving allegations of nursing home abuse, the reasonable standard of care can be identified by an expert witness. This witness will typically analyze the facts and circumstances of the case and point out how the medical treatment provider should have proceeded but failed to do so.

With all of the trepidation that comes with making the decision to move an elderly relative to a nursing home, no one wants the added concern of the potential for abuse or neglect. But, the reality is that these types of situation do, unfortunately, occur. When this happens, it might be possible to hold the responsible parties liable in a lawsuit.

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