A lot of trust is placed in nursing homes and their employees. Families across Florida and the nation expect their loved ones to be treated like family by these professionals. Expectations include proper monitoring, accurate medication administration, and adequate nutrition. Yet, every once in a while horrifying nursing home neglect or elder abuse ruins an elderly resident’s life or strips that loved one away from his family. Recent criminal charges pending against several nursing home employees show how terrible conditions can become if these individuals breach the trust that has been placed in them.
According to reports, 21 employees at a nursing home have been arrested and charged with several counts of elder abuse. The nursing home where the incidents took place catered to individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the claims are disturbing. It has been reported the nursing home employees physically struck the residents, doused them with water, double-diapered them to avoid routinely changing dirty ones, and restrained them with bed sheets. To make matters worse, Alzheimer’s patients are especially susceptible to such treatment because they are unable to fend for themselves and often forget that the mistreatment occurred.
While this incident is tragic, it is, unfortunately, not the only case of elder abuse or nursing home neglect to cause serious physical and emotional trauma. According to a 2012 Congressional report, one in three nursing homes abused or neglected patients. Also, a 2010 survey found that nearly half of all nursing home employees admitted to mistreating their patients in some way over the last year. These statistics are quite troubling.
When a nursing home resident is harmed by nursing home neglect or elder abuse, which can be evidenced by bedsores, rapid weight loss or unexplained bruising, she could face a long physical and emotional recovery. Filing a lawsuit against the negligent institution and its employees may be the only way to recover compensation to help ease the pain and suffering inflicted on the victim. Such incidents should never happen. When they do, a lawsuit can help punish the responsible parties and help ensure that they never occur again.
Source: Reuters, “U.S. nursing home staff face charges in abuse of elderly patients,” David Beasley, July 2, 2013