The Very Real Problem Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect
Recently, the government has conduced new investigations into nursing homes, and nearly one third of all United States nursing homes are receiving lower ratings on the five-star quality scale. This is due to much tougher requirements for reviews. This correlates with the stunningly high reports of late of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes, which cannot and should not be tolerated. Here’s how you can help and get more information.
This full list was published this past week on the government’s Nursing Home Evaluate site, and can be accessed HERE. The incredible list shows how the services are determined, graded, and the shocking mass loss of stars to the 15,000 facilities. It is even affecting local Columbia, South Carolina nursing homes (as demonstrated in the picture to the right).
How Severe Are The Changes?
About 61% of all US Nursing Homes got a lower-quality-of-attention grade because of the new governmental adjustments, but even in spite of the heightened grading characteristics, they didn’t usually affect a facility’s overall score. And only about 28% of all facilities dropped a full star in their total score. About 1,200 lost a star that kept them from having a five-star status (something that all perspective clients want to see).
As our population ages with the Baby Boomers, nursing homes are becoming more and more important, making this loss of stars potentially devastating to facilities’ attractiveness. Who wants to subject their loved one into a nursing home that may neglect or abuse or exploit them?
Signs Of Abuse In A Nursing Home:
- Any unexplained physical injury including: bruises, welts, burns, broken bones, trauma to the breasts or genital areas, or other physical injuries;
- Continuous accidents;
- Untreated injuries;
- Talking about a caregiver’s uncontrollable rage or temper;
- Uncharacteristically quiet or nervous around a caregiver;
- Tries/does run away;
- Restraint marks on the wrists and/or ankles;
- Demonstrates signs of chemical restraint: slurred speech, incoherent speech, sleepiness, excessive sleep, taking of medicine that isn’t needed (anti-psychotics, etc.);
- Traits that are inconsistent with their usual character: sudden onset of fear, anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, symptoms of PTSD, etc.;
- Prevented one-on-one contact with visitors or family members; or
- Prevented medical treatment.
Signs of Neglect In A Nursing Home
Signs of neglect may also be present in signs of abuse, but these signs may be more subtle due to the emotional torment and trauma vs. physical trauma. Some of these signs include:
- Changes in behavior or mood that are unexplained;
- Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities;
- Anxiety, paranoia, restlessness, etc.;
- Weight loss or gain not tied to medication or normal fluctuation;
- Sudden loss of interest in living;
- Sudden mental health changes;
- Displaying signs of distrust or anxiety toward caregiver;
- Extreme shock traits, tics, or compulsions like rocking, absolute silence, nervous shuffling of the feet, etc.; or
- Complete isolation.
What To Do?
If you see any signs of abuse or neglect in your loved one, please don’t wait to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. Your loved one shouldn’t have to suffer another day at the hands of their supposed caregivers, nor should the other patients. Criminal charges may be pursued.