Nursing Home Abuse

Feb 22

In February of 2014, the U.S. News & World Report released its latest list of what it evaluated to be the best nursing homes all across America. About 16,000 nursing homes from all 50 states and about 100 major metropolitan areas were evaluated to help the millions of American families find the best nursing home (nearest them) for their loved one.

In evaluating almost all of the nursing facilities in the US, the following factors were considered: level and quality of safety and care; staffing; health inspections; performance in vital clinical needs; the time spent by nursing staff with the residents; and, cases of health and fire violations. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, however, despite their obligation to providing quality care, many nursing home facilities fail to do this, causing many residents serious harm.

The list of the best nursing homes, the sixth list released by the U.S. News & World Report, comes in the midst of widespread news regarding the frequency of nursing home abuses and neglect. These terrible and offensive acts committed against many of the residents of nursing homes (elders, physically or mentally incapacitated individuals and those needing rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident) are most frequent where there is inadequate number of staff and where resources are not enough. An alarming circumstance as records from the American Association for Justice show that about 90% of nursing facilities in the US do not have enough staff to provide sufficient care to more than 1.5 million residents nationwide.

The different forms of abuses most commonly suffered by nursing home residents include physical, emotional, physical, sexual and, in some instances, financial. Sexual abuse is the most cruel and humiliating form of these abuses, which are committed by the staff members themselves or by victim’s the co-resident, who is either coerced or bribed by the same staff members.

Residents often rather refuse to complain due to various reasons, including: threats by the abuser; fear of being accused of seeking too much attention; shame, especially if the abuse is sexual in nature; or fear and shame of being tagged as suffering from dementia.

Even with the absence of clear signs that acts of abuse or neglect are being committed against your loved one, sudden changes in him/her plus your gut feeling that something may be wrong should never be outrightly dismissed. And, to either authenticate or disprove the possibility of abuse, no matter how slight the signs, seeking the help of the highly-skilled personal injury or nursing home malpractice lawyers would be a commendable move.

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