Falls Resulting from Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The problem of nursing home abuse has gotten so out of hand that the discussion has made its way into a few political campaigns. The media has done a lot to bring focus to this issue. People with loved ones living in nursing homes are understandably concerned. This is especially so since some stories that have come to light have been horrific.
Some cases involving accidents such as falls may be considered as neglect. Many such incidents would not occur if nursing home residents receive the expected level of care. Falls for elderly residents often result in bruising, broken bones, concussions or worse; death.
What constitutes neglect may vary from person to person. Neglect can be as simple as not taking the time to properly help a resident bathe, resulting in overly itchy skin or rashes due to soaps, or as severe as bed sores or serious accidents.
Distinguishing between blatant neglect and deliberate abuse is often difficult. As some are quick to point out however, the end result is often the same. Falling is especially dangerous in nursing homes due to the fact that most residents are elderly or already disabled.
It is a sad fact that employees have been accused of striking the elderly or disabled patients in their care. Some homes do not perform exhaustive background checks before making hiring decisions. This is driven in part by the difficulty in finding suitable orderlies due to the sometimes unappealing nature of the work involved.
Pushing, shoving or neglectfully leaving cleaning supplies in the way may lead to a fall or serious accident. Falls in the shower are among the most dangerous for residents who wish privacy while cleaning themselves. Nearly 20% of people over the age of 65 who suffer injuries resulting from a fall live in an assisted living facility.
Thanks to private nursing operations and improved medicine, fewer older people and persons living with disabilities are entering nursing homes. According to the US Census Bureau roughly five percent of people over the age of 65 now live in nursing homes and similar facilities. Reports show that around 30% of these homes have been investigated for allegations of abuse or neglect.
That percentage is staggering. Many allegations have probably gone unfounded, but take a moment to consider the many cases that have been proven to have merit. Our elderly and disabled deserve better care than some are currently receiving.
Poor medical treatment is a form of neglect that covers a number of issues, all of which may be fatal to an elderly person who needs constant care. Nursing homes must provide access to doctors to care for residents and follow directions for medication and care explicitly. Failure to do so can be classified as neglect.
Dealing With Nursing Home Abuse
To see a loved one suffer in a nursing home is a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Often family members are not sure about their rights and what avenues for assistance are available to them. These facilities are often unwilling to admit to any wrongdoing.
It can be extremely difficult for anyone to have access to employee records without first obtaining legal representation. A Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyer could offer the only recourse for families in this situation. It is wise to seek help from attorneys who are skilled in this particular area.
Nursing home neglect or abuse can be difficult to prove, but an experienced Pennsylvania nursing home lawyer will be able to tell you if you have a case after your initial free consultation. Given the vast number of complications that can result from abuse, it helps to have lawyers who understand the rather delicate nature of these cases.