I Believe my Dad is being Abused at his Nursing Home, what can I Do?
First of all, we applaud you for being concerned and noticing something is wrong. Many people choose to park their parents in a facility and may not have enough repeat visits to even notice the signs of abuse.
So thank you for caring. It is the least we can do for those who raised us and kept us safe from harm.
Nursing Home Business
About three million of our elders live in nursing homes and in the U.S., we see a good deal of sub-standard care.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at least one in nine Americans over the age of 60 has been subjected to some form of elder abuse. But for every single case reported to the authorities, at least five more go unreported, says the group, Protecting Elders.
The business of nursing homes has become a multi-billion dollar industry, and as we often say, follow the money trail.
Locally owned mom-and-pop facilities are disappearing so corporate conglomerates can take over.
Investor-owned, for-profit health care corporations were part of the 1986 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), For-Profit Enterprise in Health Care. It shows that thefor-profit nursing home chain facilities devote fewer resources to the facility and to patient care, and to fairly compensating staff. Instead, profits are diverted to the corporation.
In 2011, the ten largest for-profit homes had some of the worst rankings with the lowest staffing and the highest number of deficiencies that caused harm or jeopardy to residents.
In some cases, for-profit corporate owners outsource their services to companies in which they have additional financial interests.
It is no surprise that unqualified, undertrained nurses and a sparse staff often leave the most vulnerable without the attention they deserve. Low paid employees may take out their resentment on the elderly residents.
Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse is any physical or mental injury caused by the actions or failures of others. Neglect is another form of abuse.
Financial exploitation might include someone who gains power of attorney to take advantage. Consider what happened to author Harper Lee. At age 87, she was forced to sue her agent who had diverted royalties from her acclaimed works to himself.
Other potential signs of neglect and abuse include:
- Bruising and falling
- Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers
- Prescription drug errors
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Subdural Hematoma
- Doctor negligence
- Poor hygiene
- Broken or fractured bones
- Sexual or emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse, including derogatory language
- Abuse by another resident
A nursing home resident should not be threatened for reporting any of the above. Unfortunately, many are easily intimidated, humiliated or kept isolated, limiting their ability to speak out, especially if dementia is a factor.
What You Can Do
Please takes notes on any of the above you may have seen with your father. Take photos and make sure you visit often. Let them know you are watching.
If you suspect abuse, Alabama law requires you to report it. Contact the Alabama Department of Public Health. With more than 25,000 nursing home beds in Alabama, agency investigations take time.
The law allows for reimbursement for your loved ones’ injuries. You may need to contact a qualified nursing home abuse attorney to help ensure that you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
If needed, we will deal with arbitration agreements. Please be mindful that requiring any disputes be resolved using an arbitrator is sometimes hidden in the small print of a contract with a nursing home. Arbitrators are often chosen by the corporation so we discourage you from signing these.
Our team will research and file litigation against a failing nursing home or an assisted living facility to hold them responsible for their failure to treat your loved one with kindness and dignity.
We will prepare your case for trial, uncovering evidence that proves the failures of the facility and its staff. A settlement may be a faster way to remedy the situation in order to cover pain and suffering and receive reimbursement for medical bills. We will be able to act faster than the state and can seek protection for your loved one during the process. If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home contact the Mobile Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. at 251-473-6691 for immediate assistance.