A report from ABCnews.go.com paints a disturbing picture of our nation’s nursing homes. Citing a congressional study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, the report claims that elder abuse happens in nearly one out of three nursing homes. The study found that 30 percent of American elderly care facilities (5,283 facilities total) were cited almost 9,000 times during a two year period for violations. Problems included:
- Untreated bedsores
- Inadequate medical care
- Preventable accidents
- Inadequate sanitation and hygiene
As if that weren’t bad enough, the committee found examples of staff hitting and sexually abusing elderly residents in their care. In one horrifying incident, staff members of a nursing facility bribed a brain-damaged resident to attack another resident and then watched the two fight.
People in the nursing home industry say part of the cause is a lack of funding and availability of qualified staff. Anne Burns Johnson, CEO of the California Association of Homes & Services for the Aging, claims that nursing assistants at Medicare funded facilities only make between seven and nine dollars an hour, so it’s very difficult to attract qualified workers.
Kelley Queale, director of communications for the California Association of Health Facilities, says relatives, “Should do research ahead of time if possible, get referrals from their physician or word of mouth about a good reputation,” when looking for a home for elderly family members.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and suspect they aren’t getting the correct care, you need to contact an elder abuse lawyer. At Kahn Roven, LLP, we have been representing senior citizens and their families for over 35 years. We are advocates for the elderly and believe families should be sure their loved ones get the best care possible. If you suspect elderly abuse or neglect, call our offices at (213) 738-0708 or toll free at (884) 9-INJURED.