One of the hardest decisions any adult has to make is putting a loved one in a nursing home or other long term care facility. It’s natural to want to care for a sick or injured loved one by yourself, but when the care required exceeds your capabilities, a nursing home or long term care facility may be the only viable option. You want a long-term care facility you can trust with the health and well-being of those you hold most dear.
If you have a loved one who has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home or long term care facility, the trust you’ve placed in that facility has been broken. You may blame yourself for the neglect or abuse, but the fact of the matter is, the nursing home has failed to fulfill its obligation, and is legally liable for the harm it has caused.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes and long term care facilities simply can’t be trusted. Like any business, nursing homes will cut corners to make a buck, and often that means not hiring enough staff to do the job. According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, 90 percent of all long-term care facilities lack sufficient staffing to provide adequate care for their patients.
When nursing homes and assisted living facilities don’t hire enough people to do the job, it causes increased pressure on the existing staff, who have a hard enough job to do as it is. This can result in neglect or abuse of patients, and sometimes both occur simultaneously.
Neglect occurs when patients don’t receive adequate medical care or basic needs, such as food, water and proper hygienic care. Generally, this is the result of too few caregivers trying to take care of too many patients. However, neglect can also occur because nursing home and assisted living administrators choose to cut down on medical care and basic needs in order to turn a larger profit.
Abuse can also be the result of inadequate staffing levels, as overburdened caregivers literally take it out on their patients. Patients who voice complaints may be verbally abused, punched, kicked or over-medicated to be silenced. In some cases, nursing homes and long term care facilities fail to adequately screen employees and hire “caregivers” who have no qualms about stealing money and tampering with patients’ funds. In extreme cases, patients have been sexually abused.
Far too often, such neglect and abuse ends in the premature death of the patient. You placed your loved one in a nursing home so they could receive proper care and enjoy at least some dignity, and instead you wind up with a nightmare on your hands. There’s no way to describe the feelings you’re going through if you’ve lost a loved one through nursing home neglect or abuse.
But there is something you can do about it: Call the experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at Demas Law Group to get answers to your questions.
$1 million settlement for wrongful death in a nursing home
When a nursing home replaced the patient’s mattress with one that was too small, the patient slipped between the mattress and the bed frame and died from asphyxiation. Family members contacted Demas Law Group, and after a detailed investigation, both the nursing home and the bed manufacturer’s negligence were established. The defendants agreed to a confidential $1 million settlement.
The National Center on Elder Abuse offers numerous resources to victims and family members affected by elder abuse:
If you suspect a family member or a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, Sacramento County Adult Protect Services can help:
The American Association for Justice offers these startling statistics on nursing home neglect and abuse:
The California Department of Aging has resources for all senior citizens, including those in long-term care facilities: