Nursing Home Injuries
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities accommodate the elderly and younger individuals who have physical and mental disabilities. According to statistics, over 8 million people currently live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Because these individuals tend to require constant care, it is crucial that owners and managers of nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide adequate care and take reasonable steps to prevent residents from harm. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and people who have been injured or neglected while in the care of a nursing home or assisted care facility have a right to recover for their injuries. A congressional report which studied nursing home records over a two year period showed that nearly one third of nursing homes have been cited for violations that resulted in injury or even death.
Nursing home injuries and abuse can result from poorly trained staff, neglect in providing care, negligent medical care, malnutrition and fall injuries. Injuries that are most often seen in the nursing home setting include:
- Fractures from falls or lack of bed rails
- Bed soars / Pressure ulcers
- Weight loss or dehydration in elderly patients
- Infections from improper care
- Medication overdoses including, over-sedation
Unfortunately, because of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, it can be difficult for a loved one to communicate if they are being neglected or abused. Sometimes, a loved one may not want to report an incident out of fear of retaliation from nursing home staff or even out of embarrassment or shame. When visiting family in a nursing home or assisted care facility, you should be alert for signs of abuse or neglect. Do not be afraid to ask questions of the staff and management and show that you are not afraid to be an advocate for your loved one. Due to the growing concern and awareness of elder neglect or abuse, most states have passed anti-elder abuse laws to help protect victims.
Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect may include:
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Bed sores
- Bruising or fractures
- Unexplained weight loss or dehydration
- Staff that do not want the patient to be alone with family or friends
Another issue that has gained increased scrutiny in recent years is the occurrence of health care and Medicare fraud in which facilities have been caught overcharging Medicare for treatment and/or services that are not necessary. In some cases, companies even charged Medicare for services that were never performed. According to a report filed by the Inspector General’s office for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, approximately 30 percent of claims billed by nursing care facilities were considered improper. This practice is not only harmful to patients who have either received treatment that is unnecessary, or were not given treatment they may have needed even though they were billed for it, but it is added cost that is passed on to the taxpayer. This kind of Medicare fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers over $1.5 billion annually.Call the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Curran & Desharnais, P.C. Today at 781-277-3262
If you have a loved one who you suspect may have been neglected or injured at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you think that you might have a personal injury claim. At the law firm of Curran & Desharnais, P.C., our Weymouth lawyers provide experienced representation for people who have been injured in nursing homes or assisted care facilities throughout the greater Boston area and Massachusetts.