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Nursing Home Neglect Soars

A senior sitting in a wheelchair at nursing home

While coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 90,000 long-term care residents, tens of thousands of residents have died for different reasons. A majority of these deaths are because of pandemic-related neglect. Burned-out workers have been unable to give nursing home residents the care they require.

Nursing Home Deaths on the Rise

In a recent study conducted for the Associated Press (AP), a nursing home expert analyzed data from all nursing home facilities in the country. According to the study, for every two residents who are victims of COVID-19, one resident has died prematurely because of other causes. These excess deaths have totaled more than 40,000 since March. This represents a rate of death that is 15% higher than what is observed in nursing homes in a year without a pandemic.

The study also found that the more the virus spreads through a home, the higher the number of residents that die for other reasons.

Overburdened Workers

The study’s findings suggest that residents who did not contract COVID-19 may have been affected by healthcare workers being consumed with attending to those who contracted the virus. According to experts, the pandemic has made short staffing in nursing homes worse. That, coupled with relatives’ inability to see their loved ones, has led to the death of tens of thousands. Overburdened nursing home workers have not been able to provide residents with the necessary care.

Some of the health problems found in the people that died for other reasons include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Skin tears
  • Personal hygiene issues

All these are telltale signs of nursing home neglect.

Nursing home workers across the country have been so overwhelmed that some have gone on strike to demand better pay and working conditions. In the Chicago area, more than 700 nursing home workers went on strike in November.

Increased Reports of Negligence

Nursing home watchdogs are receiving numerous reports of residents being left in soiled diapers to the point of their skin peeling off, bedsores, weight loss, and extreme thirst or starvation. Experts fear that stories of neglect and abuse will continue emerging as more family members, inspectors, and advocates are allowed back inside the nursing homes.

Neglect in nursing homes can have serious consequences. Filing a negligence claim with a nursing home negligence lawyer’s help can help pile pressure on the facilities to raise their quality of care.

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