Law Office of Christopher Earley
 

Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect a Serious Problem

Abuse and neglect of the elderly in nursing homes is a serious and prevalent problem.  In Massachusetts these deplorable and heinous acts take place with alarming frequency.  Here is a post provided courtesy of the Medical Malpractice Law Blog on this very sad phenomenon:

As our population ages and people are living longer lives, more and more people are turning to nursing homes to help with the care of their family members. According to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform – Minority Office, over 17,000 nursing homes in the United States care for more than 1.6 million residents, a figure that is expected to quadruple to 6.6 million residents by 2050.

While many nursing homes provide exceptional care, far too many do not. Nursing homes are required care for patients and take into account their individual needs. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. According to recent studies, nearly one million nursing home patients are victims of nursing home abuse and neglect each year.

A variety of factors can lead to nursing home neglect/abuse. Many facilities are understaffed. Many facilities have improperly or poorly trained and underpaid nursing staff and aides who are overworked and underpaid, creating an extremely stressful working environment. There are several key signs to look for if you are concerned that an elderly individual is being neglected and/or abused:

– Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in various stages of healing
– Bedsores or frozen joints
– Sudden changes in behavior
– Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident
– Staff not allowing resident to be alone with visitor
– Resident being kept in an over-medicated state
– Loss of resident’s possessions
– Dehydration
– Malnutrition
– Slip and fal related injuries
– Injuries caused by unnecessary physical or chemical restraint