National Nursing Home Lawyers
"Every day, American families face difficult decisions about whether to move a loved one into a nursing home. There are nearly 17,000 nursing homes in the United States that currently care for 1.6 million residents—a figure expected to quadruple to 6.6 million residents by 2050. The quality of care provided by these nursing homes has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent years."—U.S. Congress Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chairman Henry A. Waxman, 110th Congress
It can be a daunting and frightening experience to have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Often the loved one is a parent or a grandparent that has for decades been the family member that has been looking after you. It is the person who has been the glue to the family and who others have looked up to for advice and support. It is someone that has been able to live independently and make his or her own decisions.
The immediate and worrisome reality though confronting those who have family members in a nursing home is that this dynamic has changed, whether it be a father with Alzheimer’s, a mother who recently and unexpectedly suffered a stroke or a grandparent that simply can no longer live independently. Time has run its course and the family roles have evolved whereby the father, the mother or the grandparent now needs to be looked after and can no longer survive independently. This reality is compounded and made that much more stressful by the rigors of our own daily responsibilities, thereby preventing us from taking on this monumental task alone and instead turning to a nursing home or a long-term care facility to assist in providing care, guidance and support to our loved one in need.
The unknown is many times the most overwhelming component to admitting a loved one to a long-term care facility: How will my father or mother react to this new environment? What type of care will my loved one receive? Understandably, we each want our loved one to be treated with dignity and respect and to receive the care that he or she deserves. While many residents in nursing homes receive quality care, the under-recognized problem is one of neglect and abuse.
- In 1986, a landmark report by the Institute of Medicine found widespread abuses in nursing homes.
- A 1998 study conducted by the U.S. General Accounting Office concluded that more than half of the suspicious deaths studied in nursing homes were probably due to nursing home neglect.
- In 1998, a University of California-San Francisco researcher testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging that the current level of nursing home staffing is completely inadequate to provide care and supervision.
- In 1999, the U.S. General Accounting Office found that one-fourth of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused actual harm to residents or placed them at risk of death or serious injury; that these incidents of actual harm represented serious care issues . . . such as pressure sores, broken bones, severe weight loss and death; and that serious complaints alleging that nursing home residents are being harmed can remain uninvestigated for weeks or months.
- In 1999, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found an increasing number of serious deficiencies relating to the quality of resident care.
- In July 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that the quality of care in many nursing homes may be seriously impaired by inadequate staffing.
- In 2001, the Committee on Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives found that ten percent of nursing homes in the United States were cited for abuse violations that caused actual harm to residents or placed them in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.
- In 2003, state Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs nationally investigated 20,673 complaints of abuse, gross neglect and exploitation on behalf of nursing home and board and care residents. Physical abuse was the most common type reported.
- In 2003, USA Today reported that one-half of all nursing home residents were suffering from untreated pain.
- It has been reported that only one out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse is actually reported.
The culprit for such care oftentimes falls on the shoulders of the facility owner or operator due to understaffing, lack of training or simply a desire to increase profit over patient care.
So what can you do? The answer to that is simple—carefully select a nursing home, stay involved, learn how the process works and if an incident of abuse surfaces do not overlook it. Our team of lawyers has many years of experience in handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We understand the complex federal and state regulations, along with the medical issues that are intertwined with these cases. We are familiar with reading and interpreting nursing home care plans, resident assessment protocols, minimum data sheets, medication records, ADL charts, therapy records and nursing notes. We are familiar with the staffing requirements and the training materials that are used for nursing home facilities. We are dedicated to representing nursing home abuse and neglect victims because having seen it firsthand, we understand the pain and suffering these victims experience and appreciate the fact that each is entitled to quality care.
If you suspect a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect, you may have a claim against the nursing home.
Please contact us today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling us toll free at 888.878.4604 for a free, no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case.