In recent years, the United States has experienced dramatic growth in its senior population. As the “Baby Boomer Generation” ages, growing numbers of older Americans are moving into long-term care facilities, where some will live for many years, or even decades.
Unfortunately, as the nursing home population has grown, the number of nursing home abuse cases has also
increased. Despite the increased enforcement of state laws and the oversight efforts of governmental agencies, more than one million residents experience nursing home negligence or abuse every year.
Most cases of nursing home negligence are not reported because seniors are often unable to understand the care to which they are entitled. In other cases, they may be physically unable to share information about the abuse. Tragically, as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, seniors at nursing homes constitute the most vulnerable population in the United States. They need and deserve our help!
Serious injury cases are not just business for us – they’re personal. When we take on a new client, we adopt them as part of our family, and we fight for them in every way possible.
That has been our motivating force in capturing hundreds of millions of dollars for clients we have represented during the past 50-plus years. It is also the reason we aspire to be the best personal injury firm in the country.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nursing home neglect is often defined as the failure of a caregiver to properly provide for an elderly person, which can include the failure to provide proper care, food, supervision, medicine, medical care and treatment, clothing, and shelter. Elder neglect includes many different circumstances that may jeopardize an older adult’s health and safety.
Common forms of nursing home abuse include:
Not all nursing homes have video surveillance. Moreover, those that have cameras may not always report the abuse. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of physical elder abuse at nursing homes.
According to the Administration on Aging (AoA), signs of physical abuse can include but are not limited to:
Signs of neglect can also include broken bones (from an untreated fall, for instance), but generally speaking, the following are some of the most common signs of nursing home neglect:
Are you concerned that your elderly loved one may have been the victim of elder abuse or neglect? Contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to determine your rights.
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, are one of the most common signs of nursing home neglect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11% of nursing home residents suffer from bed sores, which are often a direct result of negligent care. Depending on the severity of these pressure ulcers, older adults can experience severe repercussions.
The CDC defines bed sores as, “ wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin” which typically develop over a person’s “bony prominences,” including elbows, heels, hips, shoulders, back, and in some cases even the back of the head.
Bed sores are among the most serious medical conditions that occur at nursing homes, and their presence in nursing home patients is often an indication that a nursing home is not providing quality care.
Severity of Bed Sores in Nursing Homes
Medical professionals use a staging system for rating the severity of bed sores. Typically, these systems focus on the depth of the damage to soft tissue, which can range from “least severe” to “most severe.” According to the CDC, the stages typically look like this:
The CDC suggests that “Stage 2” pressure ulcers are among the most common in nursing home residents who have been victims of neglect.
Bed sores can cause a number of medical complications, including:
How often are nursing home residents diagnosed with a bed sore? Based on data collected by the CDC, more than 10 percent of nursing home residents have suffered from a bed sore or pressure ulcer. Of those patients, about half of those diagnosed had Stage 2 bed sores.
Some other significant facts and figures include:
According to a study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, up to 27 percent of nursing home residents suffer from medication errors. Some of the most common causes of medication mistakes and medical malpractice are:
How widespread a problem is financial elder abuse? According to data collected by the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), about 5 percent of all older adults have indicated that they have been victims of some form of financial mistreatment.
Who typically commits elder financial abuse? Nearly anyone involved in the life of an older adult can be implicated in financial exploitation schemes. More often than not, the elderly are victimized by people they believe they can trust, such as:
In addition to crimes committed by those already involved in the life of an elderly victim, strangers also prey upon older adults with financial scams. These can include lottery or sweepstakes scams, home repair scams, charity scams, telemarketing scams, and many others.
Family members should be on the lookout for common signs of elder abuse and neglect at their loved one’s assisted living facility. Common signs of abuse and mistreatment include:
If you have an elderly loved one who was recently diagnosed with bed sores or has shown any of the signs or symptoms of other forms of neglect or abuse, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.
It is important to act in a timely manner. Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time that an injured individual can file a lawsuit to seek justice and financial compensation for his or her damages.
It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any nursing home case without knowing the details of the injuries and how the abuse took place. The law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. This includes past medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, therapy, lost past wages, lost future income, punitive damages, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney will fight to obtain money for you to compensate you for all of your damages, past, and future.
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