Are Nursing Homes Still Safe for Your Loved Ones?
Thousands of Americans, as they reach the age of 60, grow weak due to illness, chronic fatigue or loss of muscle strength due to aging and/or inactive lifestyle. These types of weak condition necessitates assistance even in the performance of the most ordinary daily activities.
Work, however, renders many families incapable of providing for their elders the full-time attention and care they need; thus they turn to nursing homes where they know and expect their loved ones to be provided the time, attention and quality care they have come to need.
In May 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that there were about 15,600 nursing home facilities all across the U.S. (a little above 15,000 of these facilities were certified). The number patients or resident (these are made up of elders, usually those 65 years old or above, people who are physically or mentally incapacitated, those needing rehabilitative therapies due to an illness or an accident, and those who need extra care, like Alzheimer patients) was estimated at 1.5 million.
According to the American Association for Justice, not enough staff and/or nurses is one of the major reasons why abuses are committed in nursing homes and, alarmingly, about 90% of nursing homes do not have the needed number of staff and nurses. Equally fearful is the fact that many facilities refuse to hire additional people despite knowledge that there is not enough staff to attend to all of residents’ needs and that this lack results not only to acts of abuses, but to acts of neglect as well. Furthermore, the American Association for Justice says that only one out of ten abuses gets reported, concealing the real number of cruel acts against the elderly and other residents.
The different types of abuses complained about in the nursing homes include physical abuse, resident to resident abuse, psychological abuse, gross neglect, financial abuse and, sexual abuse, the type that is most humiliating and least reported.
Abuses and neglect in nursing homes happen more often than many people realize. In hundreds of facilities in many different states, the advertisement and the promise of quality care and attention, and clean and healthy environment are immediately replaced with substandard treatment in a poorly sanitized environment as soon as one becomes a resident.
According to Evans Moore Law, making the decision to move an aging family member to a nursing home or assisted living facility is a difficult one, but it is usually done with the belief that these institutions will be able to provide them with a level of care and attention they cannot receive elsewhere. Unfortunately, far too many nursing home facilities fail to uphold the state and federal regulations that are meant to protect their residents. While many facilities do uphold the highest level of care for their residents, abuse and neglect do occur with surprising regularity. The elderly population is especially vulnerable, so immediate criminal and civil action needs to be taken to prevent any further harm from occurring, and to begin your family’s path towards recovery.