Nursing Home Negligence
The duties owed to patients and residents of Nursing homes is primarily governed by Federal statutes codified in the Federal Nursing Home Care Reform Act. Abuse of victims is often secret and unknown until a family member discovers the physical evidence of such abuse. The injury abuses are abundant: bed sores, medication/sedation, mental and verbal abuse, bed or pressure sores, infections, dehydration, malnutrition, fractures, dislocations, slip and fall accidents, medication errors, inappropriate physical or chemical restraint, unhygienic living conditions, negligent supervision, inadequate staffing or training, financial exploitation, and other forms of physical, emotional, mental, and neglectful abuse. This abuse is not only common in Nursing homes, but also rehabilitation facilities where helpless patients are left at the mercy of often underpaid staff. Nursing home abuse is on the rise and very common in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Clark County largely because of the large populations of retirement citizens at Sun City and other over 55 communities.
In 1987, the Federal Nursing Home Care Reform Act was passed setting a set of minimum standards of care and quality of life that nursing home facilities must meet or exceed. The primary objective of this law is to ensure that facilities provide services that facilitate the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being for each resident.
The Residents' Bill of Rights
The Nursing Home Reform Act established the following rights for nursing home residents:
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
- The right to freedom from physical restraints;
- The right to privacy;
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
- The right to participate in resident and family groups;
- The right to be treated with dignity;
- The right to exercise self-determination;
- The right to communicate freely;
- The right to participate in the review of one's care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
Falls in Nursing homes according to the CDC is the largest problem in Nursing homes. In 2003, 1.5 million people 65 and older lived in nursing homes (National Center for Health Statistics 2005). If current rates continue, by 2030 this number will rise to about 3 million. [See CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/nursing.htm]
Per the C.D.C.:
- About 1,800 people living in U.S. nursing homes die each year from falls (Rubenstein et al. 1988).
- About 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries; 2% to 6% cause fractures (Rubenstein et al. 1988).
- Falls can make it hard for a person to get around, cause disability, and reduce quality of life. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation (Rubenstein et al. 1994). Id.
A.A.R.P. also has a large concern regarding the care of the elderly. Benson & Bingham is pleased to announce the formation of the Nursing Home Negligence Center of Nevada for victims of abuse.
At Benson & Bingham, we care about victims of elder abuse. Call today for a free consultation 702-382-9797. We will come to you!