Nursing Home Injury, Neglect and Abuse
Facts About Nursing Home Injuries, Neglect and Abuse
In the US, there are roughly 15,500 nursing homes that are certified by either Medicaid or Medicare, and these provide care to more than 1.3 million people (kff.org). Residents of nursing homes are among the most vulnerable people in our country. The residents are often people with significant health problems, including cognitive and mental impairments, poor health, and multiple chronic conditions. They typically are unable to take care of themselves and are dependent upon others. Families often report that they wanted to keep their loved one at home but did not have the support and resources to do so, so they made the difficult decision to trust the nursing home and have it care for their loved one.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a rating system in 2008 to help families compare nursing home facilities, and improve the quality of care in nursing homes. This system gives nursing homes between 1 to 5 stars depending on how they score in areas related to health inspections (e.g. environmental hazards, food storage), staffing measures (e.g. number of nurses and hours worked), and quality measures (e.g. number and percent of residents with new or worsened pressure sores).
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this rating system revealed that nearly 4 out of 10 nursing home residents in our country received care from a nursing home with 1 or 2 stars. Based on these data, it is not surprising that cases of Nursing Home Injury, Neglect and Abuse occur regularly in our community, and families want to see that this does not happen to another loved one. Families want justice for the harm caused to their loved one.
Examples of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to keep their residents safe. This means taking care of the health, safety and general welfare of all of their residents. If they do not, they are responsible for the injury and damages of their resident.
Nursing home negligence may include injuries related to:
- Falls and fractures
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Wound care
- Bedrail suffocation
- Medication errors
- Nursing home understaffing
- Poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions
- Dehydration or malnourishment
- Diabetic care for elders
- Theft of money or personal property
- Physical or sexual abuse