How could a very lovely elderly lady or an adorable old man die horribly in a place where assurance of quality care would be provided? Yet this is the grim truth for thousands of elders housed in nursing home facilities in different parts of the United States.
Abuse is not the only thing that is causing so much pain and slowly gnawing away the life of nursing home residents; negligence is another major factor. As different from nursing home abuse, which is intentionally harming a resident, neglect is failure in the exercise of proper care or a form of sub-standard care resulting in harm to a patient.
Different news stories have spoken of various cases of nursing home neglect that have resulted not only in severe injuries, but also in death. One of these stories talks about an elderly man, who died horribly dehydrated (after not having had any food or liquid for 4 or 5 days) and in great pain due to a huge bedsore (about the size of a fist). Another is about an elderly woman, who died five days after suffering second degree burns on her left ear, cheeks, and under the nose (this caused her tongue and lips to swell); the burn was caused by the pure liquid oxygen the was hooked up to her face. Investigation revealed three things; (i) that the old woman was left alone in her room after she was given the oxygen; (ii) that the nursing home staff had no knowledge about the proper use of liquid oxygen and that the facility did not provide training to its staff (on the proper use of liquid oxygen) and, (iii) she was not taken to the hospital despite the severity of her injuries and that the facility did not follow a doctor’s instructions, which was to have the old woman’s chest x-rayed.
The stories above are just a couple of the so many disturbing cases of negligence in nursing homes. Others, which do not result to death or really serious injuries, or which some family members never even care to notice, never get reported. Some of these other acts of negligence include failure to change soiled diapers, double diapering, restraining patients to their bed, failure to clean and cut nails of patients, failure to change bed sheets, and failure to assist residents in their daily needs (such as eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, etc.).
One must bear in mind that neglect in nursing homes is committed against individuals who are either too sick or too weak to defend themselves against the many forms of mistreatment and threats on revealing acts of abuse and/or neglect. Thus, speaking up for the sake of residents, in order to save them from the cruelty and/or negligence of nursing home aides and nurses, and even administrators (who never bother to properly screen those who they will hire, never train those hired or who keep their facility understaffed for higher profit), should be a major concern of families with a loved one in a nursing home.
With help from a highly-skilled nursing home abuse/neglect lawyer, a family may be able to prove and stop incidences of maltreatment, as well as put behind bars the perpetrators of any cruel act.
Nursing home abuse is most likely the worst kind of abuse as it often involves a few things points: a violation in the duty care of medical employees, victims from the most exposed sectors of the citizenry, and although a fellow citizen may also perpetrate abuse. It is awful enough that folks in nursing homes are therefore disabled, so sick and not really so young that they want constant professional supervision; not only that, they are too sick, not too young or too incapacitated to protect themselves in the surface of maltreatment.
That is why personal injury circumstances brought against medical homes seem therefore horrible. The casualties are weak; consequently it is not either reported by them or are not believed. Abusers benefit from this as well as their standing to keep the maltreatment. Relatives and friends need to be more vigilant and be looking for telltale signs. Based on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier, these abusers can be created to spend on both the state and national amount if the private damage may be established.Unfortunately, injury cases are not at all times easy to demonstrate, particularly if the victim is unable or willing to come forward with a charge. Casualties of abuse are often fearful of reprisals because they’re often separated from people that could possibly help them tackle the problem. A capable personal injury attorney can gather the needed evidence to follow a civil suit against the addict and the rest home also without help from the victim.
Should you suspect that pal or a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess the case. The consequences of nursing home abuse go beyond bodily harm; it involves mental stress and emotional distress as well, which may be substantially more difficult to cure.
Public opinion about the honesty and ethics of nursing homes are currently at an all-time high, with an approval rating of 32%. To put it in perspective, the opinion polls put nursing homes just behind day care centers and judges, and above bankers, auto mechanics, and business executives. It is therefore strange that one in every three nursing homes have been cited for nursing home abuse.
Nursing homes are not just for the elderly; it is also used as a place for convalescence. However, most patients recover quickly and move out, while the elderly and otherwise infirm (such as comatose patients) stay for long-term care. This population is often the victims of abuse.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms. The most obvious are physical (hitting, shoving), verbal, and sexual abuse, usually carried out by nursing home staff and other residents. Abuse may also take the form of neglect such as the failure to regularly turn bed-fast patients, resulting in bed sores and other complications. According to the website of the Louisville-based Sampson Law Firm, neglect may also be failing to render assistance when necessary, or to ensure proper nutrition and medication of the residents.
Another type of abuse is false imprisonment, which is the illegal restriction of activity of the residents. Most nursing homes are understaffed, so it makes the work easier if the residents are prevented from wandering out of their rooms by denying them wheelchairs or walkers. However, this enforced inactivity is detrimental to the mental and physical health of the residents.
Financial abuse is perhaps one of the more insidious types of abuse. Because residents are dependent and there for an extended period, staff members often gain access to their valuables and financial information that can enable them to steal property or money a little at a time. The resident may also be coerced to making over property by will or deed. If caught in time, it may be possible to bring criminal charges against the staff member, and civil charges against the nursing home itself.
If you suspect that a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse, it probably is. Get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer in the state to go over your legal options.