In a perfect world, aging and disabled loved ones who rely on nursing home care are treated with dignity, respect and love by providers who have nothing but their patients’ best interests at heart. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Nursing home abuse and neglect are rampant throughout the industry, with many nursing homes failing basic inspections and allegations of abuse cropping up in the news daily. The combination of poorly trained, underpaid staff with little oversight often yields a recipe for disaster for the most vulnerable members of our society. If your loved one has been affected by nursing home abuse, or you suspect that your loved one is being abused, you need to contact our nursing home abuse/neglect attorney immediately to weigh your legal options and get your loved one the care he or she deserves.
The statistics on nursing home abuse and neglect are eye-opening to say the least. Underreporting of abuse—due to the patient being unable or afraid to speak up and co-workers turning a blind eye—is the norm. Only around 20 percent—or one out of five cases—of nursing home abuse, neglect and exploitation are even reported to begin with, according to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study. Nearly 190,000 complaints of abuse reached the ears of the National Ombudsman Reporting System in 2014. A survey of nursing home staff found that 17 percent of certified nursing aids, by their own admission, had physically assaulted a patient in their care; 66 percent had neglected a patient; 51 percent had yelled at a patient; and 23 percent had cursed or insulted a patient. In patients with dementia, abuse rates are even higher.
Abuse and neglect in a long-term care facility can take many forms, including physical, emotional/mental, sexual and financial. Some of the most commonly seen issues and practices that are indicators of abuse include:
Keep in mind that not all nursing home abuse victims are elderly. Disabled non-elderly patients are at risk for abuse and neglect too.
It is oftentimes the most vulnerable people in society that experience the most devastating abuse. As an advocate for your loved one, you owe it to him or her to see that the parties responsible for the abuse or neglect experienced are held accountable for their actions—and in doing so, you take a step toward preventing those actions in the future. Those guilty may face criminal penalties as well as civil ones. At Russell and Hill, we understand how difficult it can be to face down your loved one’s abuser and yet how important it is at the same time. Speak with our Tacoma nursing home abuse/neglect attorney now to go over the facts in your case and weigh the legal options you have available to you.