Nursing home abuse is elder abuse within an institutional setting. Nursing home abuse can include inadequate medical treatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and neglect. In fact, neglect is one of the most common types of nursing home abuse. Elder abuse can also happen outside of nursing home facilities, such as home health care.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot, but the following are some common signs that a loved one might be the victim of nursing home abuse:
- Injuries from falls
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities or change in mood
- Sudden changes in financial situation
- Poor hygiene
- Unusual weight loss
- Strained or tense relationships between the caregiver and nursing home patient
Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are, unfortunately, all too common. As we reported, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, a study conducted in 2000 found that approximately 44% of nursing home residents had been abused and 95% had been neglected or seen another resident neglected while in a nursing home. Additionally, a February 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) – entitled “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries” – found that approximately 22% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event (or harm resulting from medical care) while in a skilled nursing facility. The OIG classified the adverse events into one of the following three categories: medication errors, ongoing resident care errors, and infections. Medication errors and ongoing care errors both accounted for 37% of the adverse events, followed by infection injuries at 26%. Perhaps most alarming, however, is that the report revealed that the majority of adverse events are preventable, with many of the adverse events caused by substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and the failure or delay in necessary care.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to act quickly to report the abuse and get proper medical care. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home patients and ensuring that they and their families get the compensation they deserve in the event that they are the victim of nursing home abuse. Contact our office at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.