Many of us have loved ones that are living their golden years in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Because we owe so much to our senior citizens, the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd want to do their part to shed some light on a very serious issue – the neglect and abuse of our senior citizens.
June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It is believed that approximately 60% of cases of elder abuse occur in the senior’s home and at the hands of a family member. However, a significant number of cases occur in a nursing home or similar institutional facility.
Elder abuse is not limited to physical trauma. It can take on many forms such as financial abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse. Seniors are vulnerable because of their advancing age and health problems, but seniors who require institutional care are particularly vulnerable. This is especially the case if the senior is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. You need to be vigilant if one of your loved ones resides in a nursing home or similar institutional facility.
Nursing Homes Are Businesses
It’s important to understand the background to this issue. Most nursing homes are privately-run facilities, and many are part of large, national chains. Being a business means that they have to be profitable, and are therefore subject to all of the other pressures that any business faces. Consequently, they also face the same temptations to improve the bottom line by cost-cutting and reduced spending. Such drastic measures can create an environment where elder abuse and neglect can go unchecked.
Some nursing homes simply fail to provide adequate care for their residents. This could be due to poor management of their resources, and so they can’t meet their operating expenses. They may have failed to adequately budget for the personnel, equipment, and materials to provide an appropriate level of care. Maybe the facility itself is in need of repair, maintenance, or upgrades.
All of these issues can result in poor care for the residents and even rise to the level of neglect. Withholding necessities such as food, water, and medicine is a very serious matter. The nurses may not be guilty of neglect because they’re just working with what they have or are following orders. However, the nursing home itself may be liable for neglect in caring for the residents.
Poor Training and Supervision
Another common problem in nursing homes is that the staff does not receive the proper training or supervision. Poor training can result in substandard care, neglecting the resident’s basic hygiene and health care needs. It can also result in serious lapses in the distribution of medication or the misuse of complicated medical equipment. Poor training not only lowers the standard of care but could also jeopardize the health and safety of the residents.
Poor supervision can lead to similar problems, but also allows other kinds of abuse to go unnoticed or unreported. Every nursing home should ensure your senior’s basic safety, which includes preventing abuse at the hands of their own staff.
Experienced Georgia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Putting your loved one in a nursing home is a difficult and very emotional decision. Finding out that your loved one is being abused or not receiving proper care is even worse. You need to take immediate action if you suspect your senior isn’t getting the care he or she deserves.
We want to help: call us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation.