One in Three Residents Abused at Nursing Homes

ABC News reported on the results of a study by members of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee concerning nursing home abuse that was published earlier this year. This study found that 30% of the nursing homes in the United States, or over 5,200 nursing homes, received citations for almost 9,000 incidents of abuse during a two-year period. The most commonly reported incidents involved untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition and dehydration, accidents that could have been prevented, and insufficient hygiene. About 1,600 of these cases resulted in actual harm to residents or placed them in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury. Some of the incidents of abuse stemmed from staff members, whereas other incidents involved abuse by other residents.

Meanwhile, the number of reported incidents of nursing home abuse has continued to rise. The nursing home industry blames these figures on a lack of qualified workers and limited reimbursement of costs received through the federal government’s Medicaid and Medicare programs. There also is some question as to whether the level of care and supervision is higher at not-for-profit nursing homes, as opposed to for-profit homes, thus resulting in fewer reports or incidents of abuse. This may be due to a larger number of community volunteers, higher rates of federal funding, or the fact that they are smaller facilities with more individualized care available for residents, or a combination of all of the above.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a result of abuse or neglect by nursing home staff, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of the action or inaction of nursing home staff, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the incident that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison nursing home lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.