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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has found that more than 90 percent of the nation’s almost 15,700 nursing homes have received citations for health and safety violations in 2011.
The majority of these nursing facilities, 67 percent are “for-profit” homes, slightly more than 27 percent are nonprofit companies and 6 percent are owned by the government, according to DHHS’ The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) annual Nursing Home Data Compendium, 2012.
A nationwide inspection of the nation’s nursing homes found that only approximately 9 pecent have zero health deficiency citations.
In most cases, violations cited consisted of any combination of:
- Infected bed sores-caused by immobilization and sustained pressure
- Medication mishaps — the wrong medicine or wrong amount administered
- Patient abuse (either psychological or physical)
- Patient neglect
- Lack of an infection control program
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Is Avoidable
Nursing home abuse is an avoidable misfortune that impacts both you and your loved ones. They are placed in nursing homes because they need the most comprehensive and compassionate care possible from a team of professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. It is not only physical, but also takes the form of verbal intimidation or forced isolation
Abuse manifests in the form of “crimes of omission,” such as when the resident is ignored, disregarded, and/or isolated against their will.
Inadequate staffing is a major cause of nursing home abuse (DHHS). A series of reports prepared for the U.S. House of Representatives(13th Congressional District of CA) revealed that nursing home neglect stems from the fact that many nursing homes do not have enough staff to meet the levels recommended by federal officials (3.45 nursing hours per patient daily) and nursing home experts (4 nursing hours per patient). Annual inspections also show that too many nursing homes do not even meet minimal legal staffing requirements (13th Congressional District of CA) which is primarily responsible for such rampant and disturbing nursing home violations.
Consider 81 year-old Betty Saal’s story:
Illinois Nursing Home Sued by Resident’s Family — April 27 , 2007, the family of a woman who died at East Peoria Gardens nursing home, sued the facility for placing residents in a “dangerous environment.”
Betty Saal, 81, suffered serious head injury during a fall in late March and died shortly thereafter on April 7, 2007. Saal’s death is currently being investigated by city homicide officials.
Her family complained that residents with violent criminal histories “created an environment so dangerous that the staff members and elderly residents feared for their safety.”
Betty’s niece claimed that personal items belonging to her aunt — namely clothing and teeth — were stolen at the facility.
Betty’s situation showed the truly unfortunate side of nursing home care. It is never pleasant to see loved ones treated poorly and unfairly. Betty Saal did not deserve to die, and her caretakers should have done more to ensure that she’d be properly supervised. Aside from having to contend with the death of their loved one, Betty Saal’s family also suffered financially; having invested a great deal of money to pay for her care.
East Peoria Gardens was fined $100,000 and lost five days worth of Medicaid reimbursements by the Illinois Department of Public Health for negligent care and a variety of violations.
Let Weitz & Luxenberg Get You the Compensation You Need
Weitz & Luxenberg wants your loved one to receive compensation for suffering unacceptable conditions like medication mishaps, infected bed sores and malnutrition. There’s no guarantee that what you see is what your loved one will get.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $8.8 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.