Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect can take many forms including bedsores, skin ulcers, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers, septicemia, gangrene, malnutrition, dehydration, burns, sexual assault (rape), fall, overdoses, infections, osteomyelitis, threats and deaths. Unfortunately, most of theses abuses to a patient’s dignity, go unreported and unpunished. Nursing home law states that a nursing home must care for the resident in such a manner and in such an environment as will promote maintenance or enhancement of the quality of life of each resident.
The nursing facility “must provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, psycholosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care. This plan of care describes the medical, nursing and psychosocial needs of the resident and is to be periodically reviewed and updated. Further, the nursing home must conduct a comprehensive assessment that describes the patient’s capability to perform daily functions and significant impairments.
Shockingly a large percentage of nursing homes fail to protect the residents from nursing home abuse and neglect. Because money is the name of the game instead, many nursing homes treat the residents like a bunch of cattle, ignoring their duties and obligations under the law. For the residents, their final days on this earth are a living hell, instead of the “Golden Years” they worked so hard for and deserve!
What should you do if you observe nursing home abuse? The first thing to do is notify an authority, or administrator of the abusive situation. If that does not appear to end it, then move the patient to another nursing home as soon as possible. Do not allow nursing home abuse to continue.
During this same time, you should call the state office overseeing nursing home inspections and compliances and file a complaint. Ask them to investigate. You should take pictures of any situation of neglect, especially in cases of bruises, broken bones, bed sores, burns and malnutrition. Document the evidence of these abuses and get names of the bad nurses. Provide this evidence to your attorney and the state investigator, but keep a copy in a safe place. If you observe more nursing home abuses or injuries to the residents, then file another complaint with the state. In fact, ask to speak to the inspector yourself. Remember in most states you can report nursing home abuse or neglect without giving the state your name.
Bedsores, also called pressure sores, can be serious and life threatening. Failure of the nurses to reposition the patient, allowing them to stay in the same position for hours at a time causes bedsores. Failure by the nursing home to have a sufficient number of nurses aids to assist the patient in turning from side to side, change out urine soaked bed sheets, or feces from on the patients skin, may lead to skin or dermal breakdown. One the skin begins to break down it can lead to festering necrotic sores. If untreated, it will advance into septicemia, gangrene, osteomylitis and even death.
Many times these issues can be eliminated by the spending of resources (money) by a nursing home to hire additional nurses, aids, buy sufficient number of extra linens, gloves, gowns and dressings. Also, many times the nurses are not adequately trained, have criminal backgrounds of abuse or assaults, do not follow the patient individualized care plan, and do not follow the families wishes, or the doctor’s orders and are verbally and physically abuse to our loved ones.
Attorney David Willis is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer since 1988. Personal injury lawsuits is the only thing we do!
Nursing home abuse robs the residents of their dignity. Many nursing home residents are scared to speak up as they fear the nurses and staff. In effect, they become prisoners of the nursing home.
If you have a question regarding any nursing home abuse or neglect of a resident or other serious personal injury occurring at a nursing home then call and talk to an nursing home abuse attorney now. Nursing Home cases are especially rewarding to me as an attorney, in that soon after lawsuits get filed, the overall care and appearance of many of the nursing homes change. The nursing homes start to get cleaner, smell better, food taste improves, bad nurses seem to be dismissed and most importantly, the care to the patients improves. When the owners and the staff know that notes and photos are being taken, often times they quickly clean up their act. They now have attorneys, families, investigators and sometimes state inspectors overseeing the nursing home.