Understanding Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
As the “baby boomer” generation ages, more and more elderly or disabled individuals will need care in a nursing home. A new study estimates that over half of all Americans will require some sort of nursing home stay in the future. This estimate is much higher than experts had previously thought. Unfortunately, this increased need for nursing home facilities and staff has left some nursing homes understaffed and grossly mismanaged.
Elderly individuals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect and to feel safe in their home, but unfortunately, many nursing homes are not as safe as they should be. A congressional report showed that almost a third of all nursing homes had committed violations which could cause harm to residents. In a survey of nursing home residents, 44 percent reported that they had been abused while staying in a nursing home. Even more shockingly, 95 percent of nursing home residents reported that they had seen nursing home staff neglect other residents. Nursing home neglect can include:
- Not providing enough food or water to residents;
- Inadequate resident hygiene routines;
- Mismanaged medication, including skipped or incorrect medication;
- Not providing adequate and appropriate clothing for residents;
- Inattention to injuries or illnesses; and
- Prolonged isolation of residents.
This type of neglect is very dangerous to nursing home residents. Those living in a nursing home are often there because they have illnesses or disabilities which make them unable to care for themselves. Therefore, they are not always able to advocate for their own needs. This makes nursing home neglect even more dangerous.
Sadly, some nursing homes have been also found guilty of purposely abusing residents. Nursing home abuse includes:
- Physical Abuse such as hitting, slapping, or kicking;
- Overuse of restraints or using excessive force to restrain a resident;
- Purposely humiliating, demeaning, or insulting the resident;
- Financial exploitation; and
- Forcing a resident to engage in sexual activity.
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be deeply damaging to residents. It can result in worsening illnesses or injuries, infections, diseases, and even death. The psychological damage of this type of treatment can be severe. Residents can become depressed, withdrawn, afraid, confused, and anxious.
Call a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or someone you love has been mistreated by a nursing home, you need an attorney who has experience bringing neglectful nursing homes to justice and getting victims the compensation they deserve. For a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Orland Park personal injury lawyer at Schwartz Injury Law, call 708-226-9000 today.