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Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse and elder abuse is simply inexcusable. At the law firm of Piet & Wright, we recognize that nursing home and assisted living residents are some of the most vulnerable and defenseless victims of personal injury. Unfortunately, the neglect or abuse of loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility can result in significant injuries, including death. Most of the victims of nursing home or assisted living abuse are in their golden years and are frail and vulnerable and unable to help themselves. They are afraid to complain.

Most of the problems that arise in nursing homes or assisted living facilities can be traced to lack of staffing, inadequately trained staff or lack of proper supervision. When we trust our elderly loved ones to the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, we have the right to expect that the home will provide them with the proper standard of care. When they do not and injuries or death result, patients and their families may be able to claim financial compensation for medical bills, injuries and other expenses related to the nursing home or assisted living abuse and neglect. There is no excuse for bed sores, bruises, cuts, open wounds, burns, falls, bowel impaction, medication errors, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss or failing to maintain proper hygiene for nursing home or assisted living resident.

Many times understaffed nursing homes or assisted living facilities are guilty of over sedation as a management strategy of the elderly. Reports from many state agencies note that many reported causes of death of nursing home or assisted living residents are caused by chronic urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers and respiratory infections. Many of these deaths are preventable. Nursing homes and long term care facilities must provide services and care to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psycho- social well being of each resident and this care must be based on written documentation of each resident known as an individualized plan of care. If you or someone you know has been the victim of nursing home or assisted living abuse or healthcare fraud, you may be eligible to file a claim. Nursing home and assisted living abuse is a criminal and civil action against the sick, helpless and elderly. You cannot do nothing; too many nursing home and assisted living abuse situations go unreported.

Symptoms and indications of nursing home or assisted living staff negligence as well as nursing home or assisted living abuse to watch for are:

  • malnutrition
  • dehydration
  • infections
  • pressure sores, including bed sores
  • broken bones or fractures
  • assaults and physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • falls due to inadequate assistance or dangerous conditions
  • rapid decline
  • pressure ulcers
  • urinary tract infections
  • over sedation/over medication
  • wrongful death
  • inadequate staffing
  • minimal qualifications
  • insufficient training
  • low wages/high turnover of staff
  • weight loss
  • pneumonia
  • blood borne infections
  • psychological abuse/distress
  • physical abuse
  • financial exploitation
  • abandonment
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • sudden changes in attitude
  • sudden changes in appetite

Statistics indicate that over 91% of all nursing homes and assisted living facilities are under staffed and improperly staffed, this situation continues to worsen with the devastation of the economy. The Health and Human Services Department reports found that patients in understaffed nursing homes and assisted living facilities were most likely to suffer from these conditions noted above and are at a higher risk for wrongful death. This situation is a serious concern that will likely increase with time given that the population of people aged 85 or older is expected to double to 8.9 million by 2030.

Most abuse cases are not reported and statistics reveal that the source of abuse is not only from staff members but from other residents as well including sexual abuse, psychological distress, financial exploitation and neglect. Nursing home and assisted living abuse cases across the nation are growing at an alarming rate of increased frequency.