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ABC News: “Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes”

Posted in Public Health

ABC News recently published a report investigating the ongoing problem of nursing home abuse, revealing that the “elderly [are] abused at 1 in 3 nursing homes“.  Currently, about two million Americans reside in long-term nursing care facilities, thus placing over 600,000 elderly persons at risk for abuse.

“Numerous” cases of “serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse” have been reported, and problems such as “ntreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene” have resulted.

A report by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee found that form 1999 to 2001, over nine thousand such cases were reported from 5,283 American nursing homes, accounting for over 30% of facilities.

“In some reported cases, a member of the nursing home’s staff was accused of committing physical or sexual abuse. In others, staff were cited for failing to protect people from abuse by other residents.

The report documents instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents, causing injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.

Some of the violations uncovered are particularly disturbing. In one case, according to the report, an attendant walked into a resident’s room, said “I’m tired of your ass,” and hit her in the face, breaking her nose.

In another case, attendants bribed a brain-damaged patient with cigarettes to attack another resident, then watched the two fight. The report also described a case in which a male attendant molested an elderly female resident while bathing her.

Instances of abuse appear to be on the rise. The percentage of nursing homes cited for violations has increased every year since 1996, according to the report.”

Further, elucidating this issue, “Another report prepared by the minority staff of the Special Investigations Division … found more than 70 percent of 59 homes in one Pennsylvania congressional district failed to meet federal health and safety standards during recent state inspections.

Such standards included measures for preventing pressure or bed sores, providing sanitary living conditions, and protecting residents from accidents, that report said.

More than half the homes, it said, had violations that caused actual harm to residents or had the potential to cause death or serious injury.”

While there are both federal regulations for nursing home care and state regulations for nursing home care, delineating specific rights legally guaranteed to nursing home residents, all too often those rights are infringed upon and the elderly are abused.  If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, please do not hesitate to contact our team of nursing home abuse lawyers for more information or a free case consultation.

At your convenience, you may reach our offices by phone at (855) 452-5529 or by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.