What is Elder Abuse? Is There Such a Thing as Nursing Home Litigation? Protect Your Loves Ones by Reporting Nursing Home Negligence
According to Face the Facts USA, approximately 1.3 million elderly Americans currently reside in nursing homes. Nursing homes provide individuals with 24-hour access to medical intervention and care in an environment where the hazards present in a home setting, such as falling and fire hazards, are not present. For an individual who can no longer care for himself or herself, a nursing home should provide a safe, stable environment.
- Two in three nursing home residents are female
- As of 2010, 16,639 nursing homes and 52,681 board and care homes operate in the United States
- These facilities provide a total of 2,948,660 beds
- Between 1999 and 2001, one in three nursing homes were cited for violations of federal care standards;
Help End Nursing Home Negligence. . .Report It – Danny Glover
Because our population is aging rapidly and the demand for nursing home bed spaces and resources grows every year, caregivers often become overwhelmed and exhausted, leading to cases of nursing home neglect. Neglect is a form of abuse and along with other types of abuse, like financial exploitation and physical abuse, it puts nursing home residents in danger of illness and injury. If your loved one currently resides in a nursing home in Eastern North Carolina, you need to be his or her advocate. If you feel he or she is being neglected by caretakers there, it is up to you to file a nursing home neglect report and work with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to seek justice for your loved one. By knowing how to recognize and report neglect and other forms of abuse, you can protect your loved one from harm.
MORE INFO ABOUT: Nursing Home Negligence
How to Report Elder Abuse
If you have reason to believe that your loved one is being neglected or abused in his or her nursing home, you should report your suspicion to the Adult Protective Services of the state where the nursing home is located, as suggested by the Administration on Aging. Adult Protective Services exists to prevent the abuse and exploitation of adults who can not protect themselves.
If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 to report the situation to local law enforcement. If he or she is not in immediate danger, Adult Protective Services will review your report and if necessary, assign a caseworker to investigate the case. If it finds that abuse has occurred, the agency will work with local agencies to provide the aid that your loved one needs. As the case progresses, keep your attorney updated about Adult Protective Services’ findings and discuss all possibilities for your case. Your attorney will advise you about your legal options and your relative’s rights as a victim.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
If you have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important that you understand the scope of the nursing home abuse problem in the United States. A recent report by the National Center on Elder Abuse showed the following statistics:
● In a 2000 study of American nursing homes, 44 percent of residents said they had been abused and 95 percent reported they had been neglected or witnessed another resident suffer from neglect;
● More than half of nursing home staff members surveyed admitted to mistreating residents, with the majority of these mistreatment cases involving neglect; and
● In a survey of certified nursing assistants (CNAs), 17 percent admitted to pushing, grabbing, or shoving residents. 51 percent admitted to yelling at residents and 23 percent reported they had sworn at or insulted residents.
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms. The report discussed six types of abuse that can occur in a nursing home:
● Physical abuse;
● Sexual abuse;
● Financial exploitation;
● Gross neglect;
● Psychological abuse;
● Resident to resident abuse.
In both nursing homes and board and care facilities, physical abuse was the most widely-reported type, comprising 29 percent and 25 percent of reports respectively. In nursing homes, abuse by other residents was the second most prevalent type of abuse reported. In board and care facilities, psychological abuse held this position. Sexual abuse and financial exploitation were tied for the least common complaints in nursing homes. In board and care facilities, sexual abuse was the least common type of abuse reported.
Nursing Home Neglect
According to the report by Face the Facts USA, 70 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of their care. Medicaid/Medicare also certifies nursing homes, which subjects these facilities to regular inspections by Medicaid/Medicare.
According to the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation (NC DHSR) Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section, not all nursing homes in the state are certified by Medicaid/Medicare. Medicaid/Medicare only has the authority to impose civil penalties on the homes that it certifies when it finds violations during these inspections.
Although nursing homes are not required to be certified by Medicaid/Medicare, they are required to be licensed by the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation (NC DHSR) Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section.
You can find out whether a facility is certified by Medicaid/Medicare by searching on the NC DHSR’s website. On this website, you can find whether a particular facility offers certain resources, how inspections are posted, whether the facility has faced penalties in the past, its star rating, and any deficiencies present with the facility. By learning all you can about the facilities available for your loved one, you can make an informed decision about his or her long-term care.
Work with Elder Abuse Attorneys in Elizabeth City OBX and North Eastern North Carolina
If your loved one has suffered from neglect or any other type of abuse in his or her nursing home, work with an experienced elder abuse attorney to file a claim and seek justice for your relative. At Glover Law Firm, we take every report of alleged nursing home abuse seriously and dedicate ourselves to getting our clients the compensation they need for their losses. Do not wait to begin working with us – if your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect, he or she deserves justice. Contact us today.