Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence

Nursing Home NeglectThousands of elderly Americans are abused or neglected each year in nursing homes responsible for their care. One study found violations at 94% of for-profit nursing homes in the U.S.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 17% of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients. Our nursing home abuse attorneys pursue abuse, negligence, and wrongful death cases to hold nursing homes accountable and assure justice for our elder clients.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence

Physical Abuse

Physical and elderly abuse in nursing homes occurs when physical force is used to cause harm and injury to an elderly patient.  Physical elder abuse typically has the most obvious warning signs. Unfortunately, due to cognitive issues or other disabilities, many elders are unable to properly report abuse.

Physical abuse may occur between a staff member and the resident or between residents.  Physical abuse is unacceptable on any level and should be reported to nursing home management, the state health department, the county adult protective services office, and the local police.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when non-consensual sexual contact is made with an elder. Physical and emotional abuse may also play a role in sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of nursing home residents is also believed to be underreported, as many of the victims are unable to accurately report the abuse.

Sexual abuse may occur between a staff member and the resident or between residents. Sexual abuse is unacceptable on any level and should be reported to nursing home management, the state health department, the county adult protective services office, and the local police.

Falls

Fall injuries are the most prevalent reason for emergency room visits in elderly nursing home residents. Falls result in one-third of all negligence in nursing homes and emergency room visits for nursing home residents.

As a person ages, he or she becomes more susceptible to falling for various reasons.  Federal regulations require nursing homes to assess and reassess all residents for fall risks. When a resident is a high fall risk, the nursing home is required to institute one or more fall-reduction measures. Negligence occurs when a nursing home does not implement reasonable fall reduction measures and an elderly patient is injured by a fall. One in four elderly fall victims who sustain a hip fracture will die within six months. Those who live will usually decline psychologically, physically, and socially. However, a nursing home attorney can possibly provide the insight you need to evaluate your nursing home negligence case.

Medication Errors

Medication errors occur when the wrong medication is given to the wrong patient or an improper dosage is given to the patient. Medication errors also occur when a nursing home fails to discontinue a medication or administers a medication that has a dangerous drug interaction with other medications the elder is receiving. Medication errors can cause serious injury or even death and is a common form of nursing home negligence.

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are a big problem for nursing home operators and their residents.  Healing a pressure sore can cost more than $40,000 and is associated with increased mortality rates.  Federal regulations require nursing homes to assess patients for pressure sore risks and to implement care plans designed to minimize or prevent the development of pressure sores. The failure to prevent or heal pressure sores indicates poor quality of care and possible negligence.

Taking Action against Elder Abuse and Negligence

Nursing homes often put profits over people. Taking action may be the only way to stop the nursing home abuse and mistreatment and prevent others from becoming victims.  If the victim is in immediate danger, he or she should be removed from the nursing home facility as soon as possible. The abuse or negligence should be reported to nursing home management, the state health department, and the county adult protective services office. In the cases of physical and sexual abuse, the abuse should be reported to the local police. If you or a loved one were the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, an experience nursing home abuse attorney can help.  Please feel free to contact us at 303-462-2999 if you have any questions regarding your nursing home abuse case.  We can help navigate the complex legal process needed to pursue a nursing home claim.