Daycare to Nursing Homes: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

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I’m often asked why our firm has a particular focus on representing children injured in daycares and older citizens injured in nursing homes. The answer is simple: because they need it the most.

Each day millions of children are dropped off at day care while their parents go to work. It’s a common occurrence but a giant leap of faith. Ask anyone with kids and the single most important and precious thing in their lives are their children. Yet, due to circumstances of modern society, most parents need to place their kids in daycare so they are able to go make a living. Children as young as a few months old are often placed in the care of individuals that their parents barely know.

Child Injuries at Daycare Facilities in Kentucky Are Far Too Common

While most daycares are safe and reliable, not all are. Many daycares have a high turnover rate of employees. This can result in a a dangerous situation as the need for qualified and trained daycare employees becomes a strained situation. In addition, employees need to undergo a background check to ensure they are “safe” to work around children.

Then there are the ratios of teachers (staff) to children. Most states have mandatory ratios but these do not account for the degree of involvement required by some children. If a child in the room requires the constant attention of one of the teachers, the ratio, although satisfied on paper, is meaningless. This scenario can result in other children receiving little to no attention throughout the day. Not only does this create issues of delay in proper development, it creates serious safety issues as well. When this scenario occurs with younger children, these issues often go unreported since the children are too young to articulate any problems to their parents.

Nursing Homes and Senior Care Facilities Are Often Understaffed, Which Leads to Neglect and Abuse

The same issues arise on the other end of the spectrum with nursing homes and long term care facilities. In Kentucky, like most states, nursing home staff (nurses, aids, etc.) are a transient work force. As with daycares, this creates problems due to inadequate training and familiarity with the nursing home and its residents.

In regards to staffing requirements, while most states have mandatory staffing levels, some states, like Kentucky, do not due to nursing home industry lobbyists influencing lawmakers to relax their safety requirements so they can make more money. Lack of adequate staffing is a big problem in Kentucky nursing homes that often leads to residents being injured. In most cases, the staffing issue could easily be resolved if the nursing home owners took a little less profit and allocated that money into more and better trained staff. Even nursing homes with mandatory staffing ratios can experience problems with residents if they don’t staff to the residents’ needs. As with daycares, if certain residents require more intensive interaction and care, then the ratios are meaningless and need to be adjusted.

This Abuse of Our Most Vulnerable Family Members Is Inexcusable

One of the questions our firm is often asked is “how can these businesses (daycares and nursing homes) get away with this type of conduct?”. The answer, unfortunately, is simple, because most of the individuals they care for are unable to voice their concerns. Think about it, no other business has a customer base that is not only often physically unable to voice any concern, but also scared to voice a concern for fear of retaliation. It’s a scenario that fosters silence and amounts to little outside oversight.

State regulators do their best to ensure the safety of both daycares and nursing homes in Kentucky but they are largely overworked and understaffed and therefore unable to keep up with the demands placed on them. This places the burden largely on the families and friends of loved ones to be their watchdogs and their voice. It’s always a parent, spouse or family member that calls our firm to report injury from neglect or abuse at a daycare or nursing home. This makes us often wonder about the many people that don’t have someone watching out for them. The statistics of unreported abuse and harm for them must be horrifying.

What Can You Do If Your Child Is In Daycare or Your Loved One Is In A Nursing Home? Be Vigilant!

These are some of the most common signs of abuse and neglect to keep an eye on:

  • Changes in behavior: Sudden or subtle changes in mood or behavior are often a sign of abuse or neglect. The is THE number one sign to keep an eye on.
  • Unexplained bruising or abrasions.
  • Weight loss/refusal to eat.
  • Increasing sleeping.
  • Multiple UTI’s.
  • Multiple episodes of falling.
  • Refustal of staff to let you be alone with your loved one.
  • Trust your gut: If you think something is off, you’re probably right. Speak out!

Our Attorneys Are Here to Help With Daycare Injury and Nursing Home Abuse Claims in Kentucky

At Gray & White Law we take pride in helping protect our most vulnerable citizens. Our attorneys represent vicitims of abuse and neglect in daycares, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities in Louisville and throughout all of Kentucky. Please contact us today for a free consultation with a lawyer who can discuss your unique situation and potential claim.