Nursing Home Abuse | Sorey, Gilliland, & Hull, LLP
Once you’ve successfully settled your loved one into a New Mexico nursing home, the last thing you want to deal with is an eviction. Unfortunately, nursing homes may evict residents for financial reasons, which is traumatic for all involved. If you’re loved one was wrongfully evicted from a nursing home or is being threatened with eviction, it is crucial to understand his or her rights, and your recourse. At Sorey, Gilliland & Hull LLP, we understand the importance of protecting your elderly family members. The first step in defending against wrongful eviction is empowering you with the knowledge and understanding of the law.
When you become a nursing home resident, you expect fair, responsible treatment from staff, doctors, and other residents. But for LGBT residents, there is a constant fear of discrimination and abuse. As a result of the AIDS crisis, there were few elders in the LGBT community to provide guidance for younger generations, fight against discrimination in the nursing home industry, and form inclusive groups for older LGBT individuals. Many LGBT individuals who are in or beginning to enter nursing homes lack the necessary legal and social support to defend against discrimination and, ultimately, abuse.
As surprising as it may be, bed rails are a significant cause of injury and death in nursing homes. Unsafe bed rails can lead to entrapment and falls, causing thousands of injuries every year in the U.S. All bed rails should be used with caution, particularly among older adults, as we are warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Often when a patient is bedridden, unable to move, or confined to a wheelchair, pressure sores begin to build up along their skin. Appearing initially as bruising or blisters, pressure sores – or bedsores, as they are sometimes referred to as – can steadily build up until they damage skin, muscles, joints, tendons, and even bones. They are common in nursing homes where residents are not properly attended to or do not have many options to get up and move around. In the most serious cases, pressure sores can result in life-threatening medical conditions.
When an elderly nursing home resident is physically or sexually abused or financially exploited, it usually leaves some physical evidence that a careful observer will notice. Emotional abuse, on the other hand, leaves no bruising, welts, or any physical signs of damage. The harm is psychological and invisible, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, then you trust that nursing home to provide compassionate and competent care. However, abuse in nursing homes is a widespread issue in New Mexico. Your loved one may be at risk of financial, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse.
Recently, the Whispering Pines Lodge in Longview, Texas was fined for not providing immediate action following the reported abuse by one of their residents by a staff member. The abuse was reported on May 13th, 2019, but the nursing home did not contact the police until the next day. This violated Section 483.12 of the Department of Health and Human Services’s rules and regulations regarding long-term care facilities, which was placed into effect across the U.S. on October 4th, 2016. The federal law outlines the steps nursing homes must take to protect residents, which includes instant action when presented with potential danger or abuse. The nursing home has had many more incidents before this most recent 2019 case.
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, as defined by the Cleveland Clinic. Stressed, burned-out caregivers may experience anxiety, depression, and fatigue. This state is often accompanied by a change in attitude toward seniors from positive and caring to negative and uncaring.
Nursing home abuse occurs in several different forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. Particularly when it affects nursing home residents with dementia, abuse can be difficult to identify and define and often goes unreported.
The Whispering Pines Lodge in Longview, Texas has been fined by the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services after a nurse was fired for allegedly sexually assaulting a resident on May 13, 2019, based on a Medicare inspection report. The report states that the nursing home failed to immediately respond to the resident’s accusations and contact the police. This delayed response, taking place from May 13-14, 2019, may have placed the resident and other patients in danger of further abuse from the alleged perpetrator.
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