More than 1 million elderly Americans live in approximately 16,000 nursing homes now. Due ageing of population these numbers will increase significantly in 20 years. Each state has a Department of Health. This organization is responsible for the safety of all patients who are kept in healthcare institutions, as well as for their protection of any injures and abuse.
Patient protection at nursing homes
When an elderly person is being placed into a nursing home, he/she and his/her family expect that he/she will receive proper care and appropriate attitude.
Negligence in nursing homes, or, to be more precisely, the inability of institutions to meet the needs of their patients, is a problem that exists in all types of nursing homes in every country.
The reasons for negligence in nursing homes
The main cause of negligence in nursing homes may be the influx of corporations in the nursing home industry. In most cases, companies just want to gain profit, and the quality of patient care is neglected. One can observe quite frequently that the owners of nursing homes cut staff to a minimum level and hire less experienced workers who can be paid less. These changes in the industry has a direct impact on patient care. The cases of ill-treatment, abuse and traumatizing patients are more common than ever, as corporate owners try to maximize the profitability of the institution by reducing the quality of care provided to patients.
Signs of negligence in a nursing home
Signs of negligence or poor care in nursing homes are very different. The patient’s family is in the best conditions in order to judge whether the necessary care is given to their relative. Some signs of inadequate care may gradually increase and may not always be apparent during regular visits. Despite this, experts have identified common signs of systematic negligence in nursing homes, which include:
– Separation from family and friends;
– Weight loss;
– Loss of appetite;
– Changes in behaviour, anger;
– Bed sores;
– Dirty conditions.
Poor care occurs even in the institutions having the best reputation.
Ill-treatment, whether physical or emotional, should have no place in any institution, especially in those where the care for the elderly is provided. Unfortunately, we constantly face mistreatment of the staff, visitors and other patients in regard to our loved ones. And though it is insulting to find out about these episodes, the family should take appropriate measures: this is the right granted by the law. The well-being of other patients of the institutions who become victims of humiliation also depends on measures taken to exposing such behaviour. How can we shed light on these crimes?
You need a lawyer
Family lawyers, specializing in negligence in nursing homes, should help you to find juridicial protection. They cooperate with many healthcare experts, doctors and other lawyers to ensure that the corporate owners will bear responsibility for the ill-treatment, such as:
– Bed sores;
– Recurrent falls;
– Cases when patients leave the nursing home and disappear;
– Medical errors;
– Physical violence and abuse;
– Premature death.