If you have a loved one in a nursing home, the last thing you want to consider is that your elder is being neglected or abused. But it happens more frequently than you might imagine.
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. You want to feel confident that they are being well cared for. However, that is not always the case. Below are some ways a nursing home may cover up abuse or neglect.
If your loved one is injured, the staff may try to blame them and say they weren’t following the rules or that they fell due to dementia or instability. Staff members may even blame the abuse on another resident. Therefore, it’s essential to watch out for new injuries and ask many questions.
The nursing home management may encourage staff members to falsify documents claiming that staff performed routine checks and other duties as expected. They might backdate information if something was skipped or lie altogether.
Another telltale sign that your elder may not be receiving proper care is that their medical chart is not updated. It may indicate missed medications, skipped doctor’s appointments, and other signs of neglect or abuse.
Even though nursing homes are required by state law to report any abuse or neglect, often staff members are pressured not to report anything. As a result, nurses or orderlies may continue to do their jobs but fail to take proper action and report the nursing home for infractions because they fear losing their jobs.
If your elder shows signs of malnutrition, frequent injuries, infections, bedsores, or changes in their mood or behavior, investigate immediately. When abused or neglected, elders often become withdrawn, depressed, or anxious
If you suspect your senior loved one is being abused or neglected, contact Baron and Herskowitz for help today.
Entrusting your senior loved one to a nursing home can be an emotional decision. Choosing the right facility with good staff is critical. It’s important to understand that negligent hiring and supervision can lead to nursing home abuse which you want to avoid at all costs.
Nursing homes are tasked with caring for elder Americans who cannot take care of themselves. However, improperly trained, or supervised staff members can lead to severe neglect and abuse.
It is the responsibility of the nursing home facility to vet nurses and other caregivers properly. If a person provides fake credentials and they cause problems, the nursing home may be liable. Therefore, it’s essential for management to perform a full background check before hiring anyone.
If a staff member with bogus credentials performs CPR on a patient and they die, it is an example of how negligent hiring could lead to abuse. Additionally, if someone without the proper training gives the wrong medicine or improper dosage, it could lead to an emergency situation or death. Someone with a history of mental health or behavioral issues would also be a risky hire for a nursing home.
Many facilities are short-staffed, and therefore, a stressed manager or director may make bad decisions in terms of staffing. A couple of examples are:
Even if you vet the nursing home facility before placing your loved one in their care, things could still go wrong. If you suspect neglect or abuse and need help with your case, contact Baron and Herskowitz today for a free consultation. We care deeply about you and your family and want to help.
Nursing home abuse is a terrible problem in the U.S. and more common than most people realize. However, the good news is that you can do something about it to protect your senior loved one.
Understaffing, poor management, and stress are three of the most common reasons for nursing home abuse. Some ways you can reduce the risk of abuse or neglect for your senior:
If you are concerned that your loved one is not getting the care they deserve, speak to the facilities’ management. If nothing changes or they refuse to look into it, immediately bring your complaints to the local authorities.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, contact our office for help today.
Understaffing in nursing homes is one of the major causes of elder abuse and neglect. Experts estimate approximately 90-95% of nursing homes are not staffed adequately to care for their resident population.
Although there are various reasons why nursing homes may be understaffed, the most prevalent is money. The cost of running a nursing home is expensive. Management may choose to push their current team harder rather than hire the correct number of nurses and support staff.
Another reason for understaffing is that a nursing home environment is stressful, and it may be difficult to keep good people. When staff turnover is an issue, existing employees may be asked to work double shifts to make up the deficit. This can lead to burnout and poor morale and eventually elder abuse and neglect. The fewer people on board, the less likely it is for new employees to be adequately trained, creating further issues.
One of the most dangerous understaffing problems in nursing homes is that residents do not receive the care they require. If staff is already stretched thin, they may not prioritize moving immobile patients to prevent bedsores, infections, and other more serious medical conditions.
When staff is overworked, tired, and not well trained, they are less likely to notice a change in a resident’s health, leading to serious illness, mistakes, injuries, or even death.
Nursing home aids are supposed to monitor patients to ensure they are eating regularly, taking medication, bathing, and using the bathroom. Surveys show that almost half of all nursing home staff say they do not have the time to provide the level of care that each resident needs.
Understaffing in nursing homes is a big problem. Due to state laws, a nursing home may be fined or even shut down if an investigation substantiates complaints of abuse and neglect. If you believe your loved one’s nursing home is understaffed and your family member is not getting the care they deserve, call today to find out what you can do.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. Before choosing one, you want to make sure you are entrusting your family member to a facility that cares about their well being and has not been cited for any abuse or neglect. The way to do this is through nursing home reviews.
Yelp is a very popular review website offering anyone the chance to openly share their experience about businesses of all types, including nursing homes. You can type in “nursing home” in the search bar and select your local area to see ratings (1-5 stars), how many people offered a review, and read the comments. It’s important to read all the reviews to ensure you are getting a balanced opinion and not missing anything.
Medicare, the federally funded insurance for seniors, also has a 5-star rating system and a searchable database of approved nursing homes.
You can also review the nursing home’s website for information, check social media to see if any of your connections has experience with the facility and talk to acquaintances who might have some referrals.
When reviewing nursing home ratings, pay close attention to ranking for quality of care, staffing (understaffed facilities mean trouble), health inspections, and any reports of abuse. The higher the stars, the better the service/rating. If a nursing home has a 3-star rating and some complaints from families, it’s best to stay away from that one. Take notice of how many people rated the facility. If you see only two reviews with all five stars, they could be fake. Look for reviews with high numbers of comments from real people.
Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise, and you cannot be too careful. Use these helpful tools to research before selecting the perfect nursing home facility for your loved one.
If you are concerned your loved one may be abused or neglected in their nursing home, contact us today.
Bedsores are often a sign of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. They are preventable, and therefore, they do indicate a lack of proper care and treatment. If your loved one develops bedsores, it is time to ask some questions and dig deeper to find out more.
Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin due to prolonged pressure. With proper treatment, they can heal, but if left untreated, some may never recover. The primary cause of bedsores is immobility. If your loved one has trouble moving and cannot reposition themselves when lying or sitting, they may develop bedsores on their heels, ankles, back, hips, and tailbone.
Some signs of bedsores are:
Additional risk factors for bedsores include poor nutrition, dehydration, and sensory deprivation. Elders confined to the bed or a wheelchair are especially at risk.
Nursing home staff are supposed to be fully trained in the identification and treatment of bedsores. If educated properly, they should prevent them from occurring by performing position readjustment every fifteen minutes or so for elders who are at risk.
Another technique for preventing bedsores is regular skin assessments, from head to toe to ensure that the resident is not developing any skin irritations or bedsores.
If you notice signs of bedsores on your loved one, it could indicate a problem with your nursing home or caregiver. If you suspect an issue, first ask a few questions:
If you are not happy with the answers or the staff and management are evasive in their responses, contact one of our nursing home and elder abuse attorneys to see how we can help.
Nursing home abuse is far too common these days. Often, the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or care facility is difficult and we do so to ensure they receive a high level of quality care that we cannot provide. If your loved one is not being treated well or you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, take action quickly.
Some signs that indicate nursing home abuse or neglect are bedsores, frequent injuries, malnutrition or dehydration, poor hygiene, emotional or mental distress, sexual abuse, and unexplained medical issues.
The first step to take is to make sure your loved one is not in immediate danger. If you suspect they are, either call 911 or remove them from the facility yourself.
Talk to your loved one to find out more about their symptoms and their mental and emotional state. If the elder feels threatened, they may not want to admit to anything or discuss the issues. They may be scared of repercussions from nursing home staff.
Talk to nursing home management to inquire about your loved one’s symptoms. Share your concerns and be watchful of their responses. They should provide you with their policy and guidelines to pursue your grievances.
Your loved one has rights, and if you feel that any of these rights are being violated, file a complaint with your state agency that governs elder care facilities.
Document everything, including any conversations with administrators, and take pictures when necessary. You may need this evidence later.
Request changes in your loved one’s care as necessary and follow-up to make sure they are complying.
Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer to find out about your options and what you can do to resolve the issue. You and your loved one may be eligible to receive damages for emotional discomfort, medical expenses, and other pain and suffering. Call us today to see how we can help.
Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home can be worrisome, especially if you suspect they are being neglected. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) states that almost 95% of nursing home residents have been neglected.
Nursing home neglect is a form of elder abuse where older adults are ignored and not cared for properly. It involves a breach of duty or substandard care that may result in harm. Nursing home neglect occurs due to understaffed facilities, inadequate training, and negligent hiring practices.
There are four types of nursing home neglect:
Neglect of basic needs: A failure to provide food, water, or a clean, safe environment for elders.
Neglect of medical needs: Not providing medical assistance which results in bedsores, infections, mobility issues, diabetic incidents, and other health issues.
Personal hygiene: Failing to help older adults with dental care, bathing, and laundry.
Emotional neglect: Nursing home residents are ignored, left alone, or treated unkindly without any social interaction.
Keep an eye out for these red flags that indicate the possibility of neglect.
Poor hygiene: Older adults need help with bathing, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed. If you notice that your loved one looks dirty or unkempt, this could indicate neglect.
Unsanitary living conditions: Nursing home facilities should provide clean bedding, clean rooms, and common areas. Watch out for any pest or rodent problems or mold.
Loss or lack of mobility: If your loved one is less mobile and seems to have weak muscles, it could be an indication of neglect.
Weight loss or malnutrition: Malnutrition results when residents do not get meals or drinks when they should.
Unexplained injuries or frequent illness: Elder abuse is common in nursing homes. Keep an eye out for frequent bruises, falls, broken bones, or other injuries.
Emotional issues: Anxiety, depression, and anger can also be indications of poor treatment.
Sadly, loved ones in the care of others often suffer from elder abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 10 older people are abused every year.
It’s critical not to overlook the signs of elder abuse and take action quickly if you suspect your loved one is not being treated humanely.
There are various types of elder abuse to watch out for. The most common are:
Once you entrust your loved one to the care of someone else, you must be diligent about monitoring their well being. Look for any changes in their mental, physical, or emotional state and keep a close eye on their finances.
Some common warning signs of elder abuse include:
Some older adults are more at risk of becoming victims of elder abuse. High-risk factors include:
The state of Florida has released the names of 303 nursing homes where their staff or patients have been tested positive for the coronavirus. Governor DeSantis reversed the Florida Department of Health’s policy and ordered the state’s surgeon general to release the names of the facilities who have had coronavirus cases. At the time of the seven page list release on Saturday, there had been 1,785 cases and 175 deaths among Florida nursing home staff and residents according to the Department of Health. The top three counties with the most facilities on the list are Miami-Dade with 54, Broward with 39 and Palm Beach with 36.
While this new information reveals which facilities have active COVID-19 cases, it does not provide the number of staff or residents who tested positive and does not list how many deaths, if any, each facility has had as a result of the disease. DeSantis said elder residents have been a primary concern for Florida since the pandemic began. He put procedures in place barring visitors from facilities for the last month, and this week he deployed the National Guard to do testing at long-term care homes with the highest numbers of positive cases.
The names of the Florida long-term care facilities were released at around the same time a Washington Post article slamming nursing home protocol was published. The article pointed out that hundreds of nursing homes across the country that now have coronavirus cases were previously cited for violating federal standards set up to control the spread of viruses.
The reporter points out that infection-control citations are the most common infractions nursing homes have been cited for. Preventing the spread of infections is exactly what the CDC was hoping to achieve when it released coronavirus recommendations in February. The guidelines have since been updated but were made available early on to properly prepare facilities for the oncoming reality of the virus.
Past infractions and prior knowledge of the oncoming virus may be enough to bring a claim against a nursing home. Read our article about whether or not nursing homes can be sued for being unprepared for the coronavirus.
There are challenges though including a large push by agencies to be considered immune. The Florida Health Care Association, the largest advocacy organization for long term care providers, recently sent Gov. DeSantis a letter requesting “immunity from any liability, civil or criminal” under certain conditions for nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities.
If you loved one is in a nursing home or assisted living facility on the COVID-19 Florida list, give us a call at (305) 670-0101 or email us at email@example.com to find out about your options.