Thousands of elderly Americans suffer from neglect and/or abuse in nursing homes each year. Even care facilities that don’t intend to cause direct harm to their residents can cause injury through careless or negligent behaviors such as understaffed facilities or improperly trained personnel. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 17% of nursing homes have deficiencies that can cause “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients. What if this happened to your loved ones?
We like to view nursing homes as facilities where our loved ones will be treated with dignity, care, love, and respect. Unfortunately, some nursing homes put profits over people and do not make it a priority to ensure that our elder population is receiving the level of care that they deserve. Should you discover that your loved one is being abused, mistreated, or neglected, you should take immediate action to remove him or her from the situation and to prosecute those who are responsible for their injuries.
Although it’s hard to imagine, there are several ways in which seniors can be subject to abuse and neglect in nursing facilities. Some of the most frequent types of elder abuse come in the form of:
Sexual abuse occurs in any case where non-consensual sexual contact is made with a senior living in a care facility. The abuse may come in the form of physical touching or contact or through inappropriate verbal harassment. It may occur between a staff member and an elder victim, or it may occur when staff ignore the fact that one nursing home resident is performing non-consensual acts on another nursing home resident.
As a person ages, he or she becomes more prone to falling. As a result, federal and state regulations require nursing facilities to constantly evaluate a senior’s risk level for falling and to provide adequate precautions and measures to protect the resident against falls. A failure to properly assess and assist a resident’s fall under the category of negligence and should that negligence lead to injury, the nursing home must be held accountable.
Here, the wrong type or quantity of medication is delivered to a patient, resulting in illness, pain, suffering, or death. This is, unfortunately, a somewhat common occurrence since elderly patients are more likely to be prescribed multiple types of medication, thereby increasing the possibility that this will occur.
Pressure sores can be a major problem in nursing facilities. These sores can cost more than $40,000 to treat and can even increase the risk of death. For these reasons, federal regulations mandate that nursing homes must regularly assess patients for pressure sore risks and implement preventive care plans to mitigate these risks. Failure to do so is negligence.
Our elderly population deserves the best care and treatment during their golden years, but it is often difficult or even impossible for these special individuals to speak out and stand up for their rights. Whether your loved one has been injured as the result of sexual abuse, medication errors, dangerous conditions or neglect that led to falls, pressure sores, or emotional abuse and neglect, we are here to give them a voice and fight for their rights.