Nursing home abuse and neglect is frequently the result of sub-standard negligent care and/or the negligent hiring and retention of abusive employees. Such negligence is a wrong that can be set right by the civil justice system. Nursing home abuse cases should be pursued to compensate the injured person and to hold nursing homes accountable so that they have an incentive to change their practices for the benefit of future residents.
According the Department of Health and Human Services – National Center on Elder Abuse:
- 7% of all complaints regarding institutional facilities reported to long term care Ombudsmen were complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
- In 2000, one study interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents reported that 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected
- A May, 2008 study conducted by the U.S. General Accountability Office revealed that state surveys understate problems in licensed facilities: 70% of state surveys miss at least one deficiency and 15% of surveys miss actual harm and immediate jeopardy of a nursing home resident
Since the population of individuals who will need nursing home care is increasing (with the aging of the “Baby Boom” generation), and since many politicians are fighting to keep the business of healthcare in the hands of for-profit corporations, incidences of nursing home abuse are likely to continue to rise.
Nursing home abuse includes:
- Hitting and pushing
- Sexual assault
- Neglect, which is, for example, the refusal to provide the resident adequate food, clothing, toileting, medical treatment, supervision, or other necessary help with the resident’s needs
- Failure to timely diagnose or treat a medical condition
- Any other action causing physical pain or injury to a nursing home resident
Usually a family member is the one who discovers and reports negligence or abuse because many residents are too fearful, or are unable, to report incidents themselves. These family members need to immediately seek legal representation. The nursing home will undoubtedly attempt to conceal the abuse, and we can help to prevent this from happening by taking the appropriate steps to require the nursing home to preserve what evidence there is.
Please contact us if you are in need of assistance. Our attorneys will investigate your case to determine whether a civil lawsuit and/or criminal action should be pursued.