The companies that operate nursing homes have come under close scrutiny in recent years due to the high number of injuries and deaths of nursing home residents. Because the nursing home industry has become a multi-billion-dollar business comprised of major corporations, in some facilities profitability has become more important than administering proper care. The New York Times has reported that 90% of all nursing home facilities have been cited for violating federal health and safety standards.
Nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are responsible for providing quality care to patients and residents. If an injury occurs because of a nursing home’s negligence, or even worse, due to direct abuse, the nursing home is responsible for compensating the patient for his or her injury. Compensation includes reimbursement for pain and suffering, medical bills, and the loss of enjoyment of life. There are also state laws that provide additional protections to nursing home patients.
In any situation where a patient of a nursing home is injured as a result of the nursing home abuse, the patient should seek the advice of an attorney. It is difficult to have a nursing home compensate you fairly for your injuries without the help of an attorney.
Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home neglect occurs when a patient is harmed because of substandard care or a failure to perform crucial caregiving responsibilities. Here are some common forms of nursing home neglect:
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Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Abuse Statistics
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as five million older adults are abused every year in the United States. It is estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported, however. Studies also show that:
How to Report Abuse or Neglect
Nursing home abuse or neglect can be difficult to see, especially if a resident suffers from dementia or has trouble communicating. Make sure to evaluate a nursing facility thoroughly before placing a family member there as a resident. Ask friends and family for recommendations, make sure to visit the facility and check for signs of neglect (strange odors, how the other residents look, etc.), check state records to see if the facility has ever had any violations, and so on.
If you suspect someone you know is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s crucial to get the authorities involved quickly. In many cases, caregivers have a duty to report suspected elder abuse or neglect. Failing to report abuse may even constitute neglect in and of itself.
The state resources pages of the National Center for Elder Abuse and the Administration on Aging can tell you which agency to contact in your state. We would also highly recommend you speak with an attorney, as they will be more familiar with the different rules and laws regarding elder care in your state. An attorney can tell you whether or not you may be eligible to file a nursing home abuse or neglect claim.
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Even if you feel you are not ready to file a suit, consult one of our qualified lawyers as soon as possible so that you will know your options. We do not charge any fees upfront. In fact, we will only charge attorney’s fees if we obtain a financial settlement for you. If you don’t win, we won’t get paid a legal fee.
Nursing home injuries resources links
ADAPT – Community Alternatives to Nursing Homes
This organization fights to empower people with disabilities to live in the community with real supports instead of being placed in nursing homes and other institutions.
Administration on Aging
Contains information on the Older American’s Act, State Ombudsman Programs, and an expansive directory of Web sites on aging.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s official website. This site is your gateway to a wealth of information on Alzheimer’s disease. Mission is “to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.”
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. It provides information and resources; advocate on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assist members to serve their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for members.
Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly
Non-profit organization, based in Philadelphia, dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable older people. Mission includes informing policy-makers, education programs targeted at providing information and improving the ability of those who help frail older adults to give quality care.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMC)
The federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid. CMMC provides health insurance for over 74 million Americans through Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, and regulates nursing homes and other health care providers.
Coalition to Protect America’s Elders
The Coalition is a nonprofit national advocacy organization founded in 1997. The Coalition works closely with our nation’s most prominent elder organizations and other advocacy groups to create public awareness of the conditions that exist in our nation’s nursing homes and propose effective solutions for improving the quality of nursing home care.
Federal Citizen Information Center – U.S. General Services Administration
Provides Medicare and Medicaid Publications, several of which address nursing home living.
National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National advocacy organization based in Washington D.C. formed because of public concern about substandard care in nursing homes. Works closely with State Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs, and operates National Ombudsman Resource Center.
Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home
This U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guide contains information to help people find and compare nursing homes.