Poor care in a nursing home or other assisted-living facilities often has devastating consequences.
Tens of thousands of nursing home residents are victims of abuse or neglect every year. This is unacceptable and avoidable. In order to prevent harm, we have to understand why it happens:
- Lax hiring practices
- Inadequate training
- Lack of resources
HCR ManorCare: Nursing Home Chain Putting Profits Before People
In the past few years, HCR ManorCare, the second-largest U.S. nursing home chain, faced almost three times more health-code violations than any other U.S. nursing home. The chain had to file for bankruptcy in March 2018, with $7.1 billion in debt.
In the years leading up to the bankruptcy, The Carlyle Group, the chain’s owner, took away more than $1 billion of funding. The homes had to cut costs to stay afloat. These cuts were often seen in elimination of staff and failure to replace old and worn-down equipment. One employee in an Allentown, Pennsylvania facility spoke out about the short-staffing, saying “at times it was just one aide for 60 patients.”
Common Nursing Home Injuries
The health of a loved one in a nursing home is usually fragile to begin with, so if they aren’t treated properly, their health and lives could be at risk. Listed below are several common injuries our attorneys see in nursing home residents. Find a more detailed list of injuries here.
These occur when prolonged pressure is put on a body part. High-risk regions include heels, hips, and elbows. Prevention and early detection are key to keeping the resident’s skin healthy. Residents should be frequently turned, their skin should be clean and dry, and existing wounds should be promptly cleaned and dressed.
- Broken Bones
Fractured or broken bones can be a warning sign of physical abuse. Accidental falls can happen, but falls due to abuse or neglect should never happen. Staff should take precautions to protect residents from falling by doing things like properly lifting them or securing their feet in wheelchair footholds.
Nursing homes should be adequately staffed so that residents are supervised and assisted when needed. In addition to proper staffing, the facility must be maintained so that rooms are properly lit, floors are dry and clear of obstructions, and bedrails or other restraints are set up for residents who are at risk of falling.
Sepsis is the life-threatening result of inflammation spreading throughout the body when it’s trying to fight an infection. Sepsis is especially common in elderly individuals with weak immune systems. Identifying and treating sepsis in its early stages increases a person’s chance of surviving,
How Do I Know If My Loved One Was Abused?
While the most egregious forms of abuse, like broken bones and bedsores, are visible to visitors, other forms may not be as apparent. You may not be able to notice sexual or financial abuse right away as there may be no outward signs.
If you suspect foul-play, keep an eye on the resident’s behaviors. If they become emotionally distant, do not want to eat or drink, or have unexplained cuts or bruises, you may want to take action.
What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse?
If your loved one was injured while in the care of a nursing home, don’t let it go. It is likely that your loved one was neglected or abused by the people you trusted with his or her care.
Over 30 years of experience has taught the nursing home attorneys at Pintas and Mullins Law Firm how to fight for justice in abuse and neglect cases. When you have our firm on your side, you can be confident that you have a dedicated team ready to fight for you from start to finish. Fill out a form or call us at 800-794-0444 for a free and confidential consultation.