The decision to place a disabled or elderly loved one in a nursing home is never easy. Many people worry that their family member will receive substandard care. Unfortunately, in many cases these worries are well-founded.
According to a study conducted by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, 22 percent of nursing home residents suffered some type of abuse or neglect. In one out of five cases, the harm or injury was long-term in nature. Inadequate care was responsible for the deaths of 1.5 percent of patients in the study.
The study also suggests that nursing home deaths related to kidney failure, blood clots, and other preventable health issues could have been prevented by more attentive staff and better facilities. In total, 59 percent of nursing home deaths and adverse events were preventable.
Nursing Homes Often Double as Rehabilitation Facilities
With the cost of health care on the rise, many nursing homes must now function in other roles, including rehabilitation and step-down care. Today, it is common for people recuperating from surgery to stay at a nursing home for several weeks or months. Many nursing homes also offer outpatient services and even psychiatric care.
Although many nursing home physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are deeply committed to their patients, others may be underqualified or improperly trained. Furthermore, as nursing homes take on more patients and offer an increasing variety of services, overcrowded and ill-equipped facilities could lead to a rise in abuse and neglect.
Learn to Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members concerned about their loved ones can help prevent abuse and neglect by learning to recognize symptoms associated with poor nursing home care. Signs of abuse and neglect include:
- Bed sores;
- Unexplained bruises and lacerations;
- Drug-induced dementia;
- Abrupt changes in medication;
- Over-medicating or unnecessary sedation;
- Broken bones;
- Depression, listlessness; and
- Displays of anxiety or fear.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, hospital, or other type of skilled nursing facility, it is important to pay close attention to your family member.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm
At Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C., we help families obtain justice and compensation for nursing home abuse and neglect. These are sensitive matters that demand compassion as well as experience. Our lawyers are standing by to help. Call the office today to speak to an attorney about your claim.
This website has been prepared by Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.