Of all the personal injury cases that occur, perhaps the most disturbing are the ones that happen to the most vulnerable including children and, of course, the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2014, there were 1.4 million residents living in 15,600 nursing homes throughout the U..S. Of those 15,600 nursing homes, nearly 70% are privately owned. Oftentimes, the assumption is that a privately owned facility provides the best and most “luxurious” care, but apparently, that is not always the case.
In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in the year 2000, one study revealed that 44% of nursing home residents interviewed at 2,000 separate facilities said they had been abused. And 95% said they had been neglected or seen others neglected. In New York, alone, many thousands of elderly individuals live in nursing homes. Most of the time, they, together with their families, have researched many facilities and decided on the ones that best meet their life styles as well as their budgets. What should be a comforting environment and a chance to live out their lives stress free often becomes a terrible experience; for some even a nightmare.
The fact that the overwhelming number of nursing homes are privately owned and run can lead to those facilities putting profits before the well-being of the residents in their care. Like many other for-profit organizations, private nursing homes may sometimes seek to cut back on expenses which may lead to inadequate staffing, unqualified staff, inadequate maintenance and cleaning; a shortage of proper medical equipment, and even much-needed prescription drugs.
As a result, there have been countless cases of elderly individuals who have suffered serious medical conditions and injuries; injuries even leading to death. Bedsores, bruises, lice, broken bones, poor hygiene, sudden weight loss – all are signs of neglect or abuse. In instances where the individual is lucid and aware of his surroundings, he is able to communicate the poor living conditions to his family members who then may take action. However, not every nursing home resident is capable of alerting their families; and some residents have no families at all. In the most tragic cases, some die due to neglect.
If you or someone you may know has an elderly parent or family member living in a nursing home facility, be vigilant. Visit often. Take care to notice the physical and emotional state of your loved one. If you are not satisfied, remove him or her immediately. If he or she has suffered an injury, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for advice. You CAN hold the facility accountable.