Nursing Home Horrors: Malpractice Risks for the Elderly

It’s been two months now since your grandmother suffered a stroke. You’ve taken all of your sick time and 40 hours of vacation time to stay at home with her. Your brothers and sisters have likewise done the same, but none of you can afford to continue to care for her. Therefore, you’ve been looking into the possibility of sending her to a nursing home like Deanwood, Carroll Manor, or Capitol Hill Nursing Center.

However, every time you attempt to make an appointment to see their facilities, something stops you. Is it the right decision? Are nursing homes safe? Will the staff take proper care of her?

Common Nursing Home Malpractice Dangers

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect that she will be taken care of as though she were a member of the staff’s own family. You’re paying thousands of dollars a year in order for her to get ’round-the-clock care. She ought to be as comfortable as humanly possible while also having her health and needs looked after. However, according to the American Association for Justice, an alarmingly high number—90 percent—of nursing homes and hospice care centers do not have the adequate staffing to properly care for their patients.

Recent studies into nursing home care has reportedly discovered that each patient receives only about three hours of direct nursing care per day, and some of that has been reported to be abusive and exploitative. As a result, over 150,000 cases of abuse, neglect, and injury involving nursing home patients are reported each year. These acts include:

  • Physical abuse, including hitting, scratching, shoving, grabbing, biting, inappropriate use of restraints, pinching, or any other form of violent behavior that may cause the patient physical harm.
  • Emotional abuse, such as ridicule, humiliation, terrorizing, or forcing a patient to participate in demeaning or embarrassing acts. Blaming a patient for her illness or accidents, poking fun at or purposefully confusing a patient, and intentionally ignoring a patient can all be considered forms of emotional abuse and neglect.
  • Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse (including any form of unwanted sexual physical contact) may result from a patient being unconsciously taken advantage of, coerced, tricked, manipulated, or forced into sexual contact.
  • Financial abuse. Unfortunately, financial abuse is a common act in nursing homes and is usually associated with caregivers stealing valuables or money from patients; coercing them to change wills, deeds or monetary documents; or revealing bank account numbers.
  • Neglect. Neglect occurs when a patient’s emotional needs, physical needs, or medical care are ignored, putting that patient at great risk of harm. Neglect can include failure to provide medication; giving the patient incorrect or too much medication; not properly feeding, cleaning, or moving the patient; or a lack of physical and emotional attention. Negligence can lead to physical degradation, bedsores, illness, decrease in mental acuity, and, in some cases, even death

If you believe a loved one has suffered or currently is suffering from nursing home malpractice or abuse, report the incident immediately to local authorities. Abuse of any kind is not acceptable. Once you have properly secured your loved one and are sure that she is no longer under any threat, contact us immediately. We do not take elder abuse lightly and we will fight tooth and nail to make sure she and your family receive the justice you all deserve. Don’t hesitate; contact us now for a free consultation.

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