It’s an unsettling subject and one that will make your skin crawl when you learn the facts about nursing home abuse. My family has talked extensively about this issue after my nieces became medical professionals and started learning about some of the startling statistics of nursing home complaints. I had no idea this was such a widespread issue until I began looking into the matter myself.
There are approximately 3.2 million adults living in nursing homes in the U.S. Up to 1 in 6 nursing home residents may be the victim of abuse or neglect every year. Physical and emotional abuse exists within the walls of some nursing homes, and when a patient is unable to speak or move independently, the abuse can go unreported for an indefinite amount of time. In a study conducted by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, it was found that in 1,601 cases the abuse was severe enough to result in actual physical injuries or death. The accounts of abuse will make your jaw drop. For example, there is an account in the report that reveals patients were bribed with cigarettes to fight one another while two staff members sat back and watched. It’s almost unbelievable until you read on to find that the next story states an elderly woman was molested while receiving a bath from a male attendant. It’s terrible, shocking, and a problem that cannot be ignored.
This is a horrid reality that families have to face when making the decision to place their elderly loved one under the care and supervision of someone else. With a demanding job and a family to care for, individuals are often challenged with the indecisiveness that can follow the responsibility of making a decision like this. Families do not always have the ease of bringing their loved one in to live with them and are often left with few other options that third-party care like a nursing home.
Nursing home residents could experience common neglect like untreated bedsores, untimely medication administration, lack of personal attention, lack of movement and exercise, dehydration, preventable accidents, or worse, sexual abuse or misconduct. There is a variety of circumstances which may qualify as abuse, and if you feel like your loved one has been subjected to such horrors, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to save your loved one and other patients’ lives. Reporting the abuse is the first step, but in the event that you or a loved one has experienced physical or emotional harm that demands a lawsuit, you could use the help of a qualified attorney who has been down this road before.
It’s, unfortunately, an uphill battle when it comes to proving negligence or outright abuse, and when the victim cannot communicate what they experienced, the challenges become more complex. Learn more about a legal team that can review the details of your case and help you build a strategy against the accused party.