Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Contributes to Another Tragic Ending

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Nursing home abuse and neglect seems to be one area that continues to get worse.  While it is a hot topic, very little seems to be done about it.  Recently, an 89 year old Iowa resident died after complications arose due to a fractured ankle.  New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers know all too well how seemingly simple injuries can turn quickly in to a tragedy.

Friendship Manor, a Grinnell nursing home, was fined more than $101,000 by Federal officials after Ruth Louden lost her leg to gangrene.  A few weeks later, she died.  Louden had fractured an ankle in 2008 and entered the facility for what she thought would be a brief stay for physical therapy.  Four weeks later, her leg had to be amputated.  During those four weeks, Louden had complained to nursing home staff about the severe pain in her leg, but apparently nothing was done.  She died three months later.

The owner of Friendship Manor, Tim Boyle, appealed the $101,000 penalty and recently  paid $75,000 to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, after agreeing to settle the case.  Unfortunately, scenarios like this happen all too often.

When you place an elderly family member in a nursing home facility, you expect them to be treated with respect and dignity.  You also expect that they will be given medications on time, provided nutritious meals, and taken care of.  While this should be expected, often this is not the case.  Many nursing homes are severely understaffed, and residents do not get the proper care and attention they deserve.

In reality, nursing home abuse and neglect takes place on a daily basis across the country.  Individuals place their elderly loved ones in a care facility, believing they can trust them.  These facilities are supposed to provide a safe haven in which a loved one will receive excellent health care in a relaxed home environment, but this is frequently not the case.  Residents and patients may be neglected in several areas, including hygiene and nutrition.

It seems that speaking with nursing home authorities would remedy any problems, but often no action is taken.  Unfortunately, our elderly loved ones suffer declining health, injuries and even worse.  If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused, contact a reputable and aggressive New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at once.  Your loved one deserves justice.

Tragic Endings Are Often The Case in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Toward the end of 2009, a Greenville, MS family was awarded $1.5 million in a wrongful death suit filed against the owners and operators of a nursing home in which their elderly family member died.  At the age of 83, Henry Gibson had a stroke and was placed in a nursing home on the recommendation of his doctor.  This was so that he could gain his strength back, and undergo physical therapy.

Mr. Gibson died three years later in a hospital after being abused and neglected in that nursing home.  This is the scenario that plays out all too often.  We trust nursing homes to care for our elderly relatives, but nursing home abuse and neglect is a fact that concerns lawyers, and families who are considering placing their elderly loved one in a nursing home facility.

Like the victim in this tragic story, many residents of nursing homes suffer dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores and other ailments because they are not given the attention they deserve.  Some are also mentally and physically abused.  Many of these facilities claim that they are understaffed, which may be the case.  However, this is no excuse for the inhumane way that many of our elderly are treated.

Nursing homes are often staffed with nurses who are sent through temporary staffing agencies.  Many of these agencies do not perform the proper background checks, and staff that is sent out to work in our nursing homes may have drug addiction problems, or even criminal backgrounds.  Elderly residents often have some of the usual symptoms of old age, such as dementia or short term memories.  Staff members inflict physical abuse on these patients, knowing that they are not capable of reporting the behavior to their families.  They may even threaten the elderly into silence.

Abuse and neglect is not limited to physical punishment.  Withholding food, drink and timely medication is also abuse.  In many nursing homes, residents are not fed or given medication when it is time.  This means that residents suffer from malnutrition, and may even become seriously ill because they were not given their medication as prescribed.

When you visit your loved ones in a nursing home, check for signs of abuse and neglect.  Try to talk to your loved one, especially if you suspect that something is not right.  Look for evidence of neglect such as bed sores or noticeable weight loss.  If you do believe you have cause for concern, speak to authorities of the nursing home.  Contact an aggressive and reputable New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to learn your rights, and what steps may be necessary if your loved one is suffering at the hands of negligent facilities.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect is An Ever Increasing Worry

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a subject that has long worried family members of elderly residents, and with good reason.  As the nursing shortage becomes a bigger problem, many of these facilities hire staff through temporary staffing agencies.  Unfortunately, these individuals are often not properly screened, and it becomes evident that some are not fit to care for our elderly.

There have been many stories of nursing home abuse and neglect in the news recently.  One news item pertains to an Illinois nursing home where a male resident has allegedly abused about 10 other residents sexually.  In Minnesota, 15 residents were abused both emotionally and sexually in July of this year by teenage nursing assistants.  This type of abuse of our elderly is unacceptable, and should not be tolerated.

The problem often lies in the residents inability to clearly communicate with family members.  Many of the elderly suffer from alzheimers, dementia and normally declining memory function.  Some are threatened by staff that they must not tell anyone.  Besides emotional abuse, other types of neglect take place.  Often, residents are not given their meals and medication on time, which can result in illness or malnutrition.  Patients may be struck or physically abused as well.

The elderly are often frail and vulnerable to mistreatment by nursing home staff members.  When you feel that your loved one is being abused or neglected, confront the nursing home authorities to alert them of your concern.  While this must be done, it often produces no results.  Nursing home residents do have legal rights, and this type of inhumane treatment cannot be tolerated.

Nursing home facilities are supposed to provide shelter, nutrition and care for our elderly loved ones, but all too often abuse or neglect takes place.  Why?  There are several reasons this may occur.  Sometimes, staff members have a history of violence.  Other times, staff members are poorly qualified or not trained adequately.  Staff may be short, and those who work may work extremely long hours.  While these are not excuses for abuse and neglect, sadly they are real facts.

When you believe that your elderly family members is being mistreated or harmed in any way in a nursing home, contact a New York nursing home abuse lawyer.  Your loved one should be properly cared for, and anything less is unacceptable.  When nursing home authorities provide you no answers, you must take further action.

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