When you or someone you love is staying in a nursing home, you should be able to expect optimal care. Unfortunately, with many facilities overcrowded and/or understaffed, cases of neglect and abuse are all too common. In fact, any nursing home lawyer can regale you with the stories they have heard about various facilities or cases they’ve taken on. There are some statistics regarding nursing home abuse and neglect that are truly shocking.
Only about 20 percent of all abuse cases are ever reported—sadly, the reasoning behind this is that the abuse victims don’t want their abusers to get in trouble. Many nursing home residents may not have the confidence, support, or mental clarity to file a complaint about abuse, and so, many cases are never even reported. However, that doesn’t mean they are rare—nearly 1 in three nursing homes has been previously cited for abuse, whether from staff or other residents. Such abuse includes physical abuse, malnutrition, psychological trauma, and more. And since more than half of nursing home residents don’t have close relatives visiting often, they are left with little support to help them file a report. If they do have support, a nursing home lawyer can help them build a case.
Nearly 90 percent of all nursing homes in the United States are considered to be understaffed. With too many residents and not enough employees, it’s a breeding ground for cases of nursing home neglect. One nurse can be assigned for up to 30 patients at a time, while the recommended ratio is far, far less, with one nurse for every 6 residents, and half that during meal times. Neglect in nursing homes can also lead to problems like bed sores, medication errors, and other problems. With the demand for nursing staff being high, regulations for who can be hired are a bit lax, which can also lead to problems. If you or someone you love is being subjected to neglectful treatment while staying in a nursing facility, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a nursing home abuse lawyer.