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Standing Up For Seniors Report: Neglect

Today we continue our examination of the American Association for Justice‘s comprehensive new report entitled, “Standing Up For Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans.” We will consider the general neglect that many seniors endure at nursing home and similar locations.

Very frequently on this blog, we discuss the tragic cases of elder neglect that claim the lives of our vulnerable seniors. Unfortunately, we never go a day without hearing news of another resident who has died or been severely harm because they were denied even the most basic level of care and comfort while stuck at one of these facilities.

A hidden truth is that when seniors dies of neglect at problematic nursing homes a different label is always used—malnutrition, dehydration, bed sores, infections, and others. Far too often these health problems are simply the natural outcome of a lack of basic medical care that all seniors deserve. If cleanliness, nutrition, exercise, and other staples of proper nursing home treatment are observed on a daily basis than these types of deaths rarely, if ever, occur.

But when that care is ignored, neglectful deaths are prevalent. For example, 78-year old Margaret Hutcheson eventually died from severe pressure sores, malnourishment, and dehydration. Other heinous examples abound: a leg that had to be amputated when health care workers allowed maggots to infest a wound or Alzheimer’s patients trapped in a kitchen freezer.

Nursing homes continue to try to hide the problem. Over 14,000 residents die each year due to malnutrition and dehydration alone. Yet, many nursing home conglomerates claim that it is nothing to be alarmed about because it is a natural part of the dying process. Medical experts, however, will explain the truth that, “people should not be dying of malnutrition or dehydration. It’s really neglect, and we should call it what it is.”

Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are experienced in handling unacceptable treatment of residents at these facilities. Our lawyers have been involved with these cases for decades and understand that many new “for-profit” nursing home continue to reduce the quality of the care they provide to boost their bottom line. Discouragingly, government regulations of this problematic care are only a minor inconvenience for these large nursing home chains. They can afford to pay minor fines and move on without changing their practices.

That is exactly why our nursing home lawyers are committed to seeking real justice when these businesses destroy the lives of seniors or add to their suffering. In that way, real problems are addressed and future victims are spared similar loss.

Our look at the new AAJ Report will continue next time with consideration of the very common problems associated with bed rails.

Please Click Here to view the full copy of this report.