A Medford, NY, nursing home corporation and staff plead guilty this week in court to covering up the circumstances of a 2012 resident’s death. The nursing facility corporation and nine employees were indicted after a whistleblower brought the wrongdoing to the attention of authorities. The plea includes payment of a $10,000 fine and settles the case.
2012 Nursing Home Death
In this case, the patient, a woman resident of the nursing home, died after the respiratory therapist forgot to reattach the ventilator at night. Subsequently, the nursing home allegedly covered up the wrongdoing. While the settlement brings closure to the case, it does not help resolve the fact that problems existed in the facility. This case brings to light the abuse and neglect that occur in many nursing homes across the country. Elder mistreatment is a worsening problem and one that is not always reported.
Increase in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is likely to increase over the next decade. This is due, in part, to the increase in the number of patients that are expected. Babyboomers are reaching old age, and many of them will require nursing care. At the same time, the number of skilled care workers may be static. This means that there could be a shortage of nursing care workers in the future. Fewer staff, more patients, and increased care points to the potential for more neglect.
Nursing Homes Cited for Abuse or Neglect
According to the Center On Elder Abuse, as many as 1 out of every 3 nursing home facilities have been cited for some type of violation. Violations often mean that the facility is not as safe as it should be or is not properly taking care of patients. It is also important to note that it is highly possible that many more facilities had violations that were not reported. Problems in a nursing home may also be covered up by employees.
Keeping Nursing Home Patients Safe
Nursing home patients are more vulnerable than others and therefore may be more susceptible to abuse or neglect. Know the signs of abuse and neglect, which include unexplained bruises, undernourishment, depression, and bedsores, to name just a few. Speak with the doctor to understand the diagnosis and treatment necessary. Ensure that you stay in contact with the nursing care staff and visit your loved one as often as possible. When you suspect abuse or neglect it must be reported immediately.
Abuse and Neglect Cases
When you think a loved one or relative may be the victim of nursing home abuse it is necessary to take quick action. Speak with an experienced attorney to answer your questions and help determine whether a case is possible. Research and evaluation will be done to find out whether abuse has likely occurred. The patient must have been harmed due to negligence on the part of the facility, which is required to take proper care of residents. Talk to the skilled lawyers at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.
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