Abuse in Nursing Homes Still Problematic Across the Country

Date: May 30, 2019

The Epidemic of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Recently in March the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing regarding abuse in nursing homes throughout the U.S. A separate Senate hearing took place in September of 2018 where the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce looked into the efforts of federal agencies to ensure quality safety and care for residents. While measures are being taken to protect residents moving forward, abuse in nursing homes remains a problem now.

Are Your Loved Ones Residing in Nursing Homes Receiving Quality Care and Safety?

Is there an elderly person you love and care for currently living in a Nursing Home? The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that one out of every twenty nursing home patients have been victims of abuse or injury. The Center also reports this number is likely even higher, but incidents often go unreported. Your loved one may be at risk without you knowing.

Congressional reports have found that 1 in 3 nursing homes were cited for violations that could lead to issues of harm, abuse, or neglect, while also finding almost 10 percent of all nursing homes to have caused actual harm, serious injury or increased risk of death for patients. And these statistics look only to the incidents that have been reported.

Patients may be abused physically, either by direct harm or indirect harm resulting from situations such as unnecessary restraint or lack of necessary care for physical ailments. Patients may be emotionally and psychologically abused by the chronically understaffed, overworked, caregivers, resulting in humiliation, sadness, and shame. Patients also may be at risk of financial abuse when caregivers wrongly abuse the access they are given to a patients’ hard-earned life’s savings, either by stealing from or committing fraud with a patient’s information. Sexual abuse is another risk in nursing homes, whether it be from staff or patients, as incidents of sexual assault have been discovered across multiple facilities throughout the country. Aside from these abuses are even more common everyday harms such as inadequate hygiene maintenance, malnutrition resulting from a lack of a proper diet, dehydration due to a lack of proper nourishment, and lack of proper clothing leading to frequent illnesses and skin problems.

No patient should ever be subjected to any abuse, and it may be worth the investigation to find out whether your loved ones are being properly cared for. Nursing homes have a duty to provide proper standards of care, and when a patient suffers harm caused by a nursing home’s level of care falling below the proper standards, there may be an award of damages for your loved one. This liability may be vicarious in that the nursing home is responsible for the actions of its caregivers. The liability may also result from negligence of the nursing home itself in not maintaining a clean and quality premise, or not providing the proper equipment for the patients, or hiring and retaining employees not fit for proper caretaking.

Let our Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Stand Up For You and Your Loved Ones.

We pride ourselves on protecting those who need us most, and will offer our full strength to make sure your loved ones are properly cared for moving forward, and compensated for the harms they have previously suffered. Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.