Nursing Home Abuse
And Nursing Home Neglect
It's never an easy decision when a parent, spouse, or even a child with disabilities needs extended care in a skilled nursing facility. These residential facilities used to be called, simply, "nursing homes" or "homes for the aged." But now they go by different names depending on the extent of care and services offered: assisted living facilities, residential care homes, long-term residential care, and eldercare or elder-care homes are among the names used today.
What they all have is common is they have our TRUST when we place a loved one in their care. Sadly, not all "nursing homes" are deserving of that trust.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence?
The U.S. Center on Aging, National Center on Elder Abuse, reports that the epidemic of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes is so widespread, it is difficult to fathom. Just as difficult is coming up with accurate data to gauge the extent of this shameful problem. Many elder care advocacy and government groups estimate that ONE-THIRD of all nursing homes in the U.S. have been accused of some form of abuse toward residents.
That is a staggering statistic, given so many of our seniors are put in the care of these facilities. One report estimates that 1.6 million people live in 17,000 licensed nursing homes, and up to 1 million live in 45,000 residential care facilities. (Source: Elder Abuse In Residential Long-Term Care Facilities: What Is Known About Prevalence, Causes, And Prevention, Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance by Catherine Hawes, Ph.D., June 18, 2002). That number will increase as the Baby Boom ages.
What is known is that nursing home abuse and negligence can take many forms:
- Violence against residents (including slapping, punching, pinching, or handling roughly)
- Sexual assault
- Verbal abuse and threats
- Theft of personal property
- Abuse inflicted by other residents
Nursing home abuse can cause injury, depression, and can even lead to wrongful death.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect - Information and Warning Signs
The Maryland Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, operated by The Maryland Department of Aging, "protects the rights and promotes the well-being of residents in nursing and domiciliary care homes and other long term care facilities." It is unknown how many Maryland senior citizens and others in nursing homes or other care facilities have suffered or perished due to neglect, mistreatment, or violence.
A Baltimore County, Maryland nursing home abuse attorney may be consulted by families who need guidance and assistance, if they feel their loved one isn't safe in a nursing home situation.
Sometimes residents are hesitant or unable to say something is wrong. Look for warning signs, including poor medical care, a failure to provide care when warranted, dirty surroundings, unusual bruising, unexplained bone breaks, depression, lack of appetite, or missing items.
If you suspect a love one has been injured due to nursing home abuse or negligence in Maryland or the Mid-Atlantic...
- Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention and care for your loved one.
- Document their injuries.
- Get copies of all their medical records.
- DO NOT speak to an insurance company representative or the institution's lawyer if they contact you! This is very important, as families with injured loved ones can be misled into giving statements that may be used to deny their claim.
- DO contact Butschky & Butschky, LLC for a free consultation to see if you may have a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in Maryland.