NURSING HOMES ABUSE / NEGLIGENCE IN NURSING HOME
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Nursing Homes Must be Free from Abuse and Negligence, and as Safe as One's Home
Even though Americans are living longer, healthier lives, in the end we all have to watch our parents and other elderly loved ones enter the final chapter of life. The difficult questions about the cost of quality care have grown common enough to be part of the national debate.
Most would prefer to care for their elderly parents, or parent, in the safety of the family home, but sometimes this is simply not feasible. Adult children today tend to put in longer hours at work for lesser pay, and simply can’t find or afford someone to watch over their elderly family member. And if this family member is suffering from a medical condition, it makes home care even more difficult on the family. Therefore, when elderly loved ones can no longer take care of themselves, and when keeping them in your home simply isn’t feasible, a difficult decision must be made: that of putting mom and/or dad into a nursing or other long-term care facility to provide the attention they require. The types of residences available for elderly loved ones range from assisted-living facilities to full-care nursing homes.
At the same time, you shouldn’t have to lay awake at night worrying about how your loved one is faring in a nursing home. They deserve to be safe and properly cared for; furthermore, it’s the law.
If you suspect a love one is being abused by nursing home staff members, you have the legal right to take action based on your suspicions. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents tend not to mention instances of abuse; they may fear that the mistreatment will get worse. Possibly it is because of a medical condition that affects their ability to communicate or to even recall recent events.
Being Able to Decode the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can often be a hidden problem due to the inability of victims to express pain and neglect. As for the physical signs, caregivers can easily overlook them, often because many nursing homes are understaffed, with overworked nurses and care providers. Sometimes it is up to you to notice if there is anything wrong with your loved one – especially if they can’t communicate and there is no one else to watch out for them.
Some common “hidden” problems at nursing homes:
- Bedsores: These are created by unrelieved pressure, friction, humidity and poor nutrition, coupled with an inattentive caregiver who leaves a patient alone in bed for long periods without repositioning.
- Weight Loss: Negligent nursing homes often do not have the staff or dedication needed to ensure residents get the necessary nutrition and hydration.
- Injuries from Falling: Nursing home management is legally responsible for developing a care plan for each resident to prevent falls.
Number of Nursing Home Victims Reaches Epidemic Proportions
Nursing home negligence is an ongoing, serious problem. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that one nursing home patient out of 20 has been the victim of negligence and/or injury, and notes the number may be much higher. Additionally, the National Center reported that 57% of nurse’s aides working in long-term care facilities have admitted to witnessing – and some, even participating in – acts of negligence and abuse against elderly residents.
Due to limited staff and overpopulated facilities, elderly or disabled patients living in long-term care facilities often lack the attention they require. Moreover, elderly residents who require assistance to get through daily life – such as eating, bathing, walking, etc. – do not receive it. The results of this can be disastrous: debilitating falls, painful and immobilizing bedsores, malnutrition, and sometimes death.
If you feel that a loved one has been a victim of elder care abuse or neglect, you both may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP is prepared to investigate and pursue all available civil damage remedies. Please complete our online form or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.