Epidemic of Nursing Home Abuse Endangers Seniors

This week, the New York Times reported that 90 percent of all nursing homes are already cited for violating federal safety and health standards. Even worse, 94 percent of privately-owned facilities were cited regarding such violations. It is clear that nursing home abuse and overlook has become an epidemic, and a person with a loved one in a nursing home must be aware of this issue.

Nursing home residents’ rights are guaranteed by the government 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. The law requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of every resident”. Yet, as the New York Moments recently made clear, nursing homes are not doing enough to protect their residents.

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimations at least one in 20 nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence and or abuse, though it concedes that the number is probably higher. According to the National Center’s study, 57% of nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities admitted to having witnessed, and even participating in, acts associated with negligence and abuse. Data from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that will nursing home neglect played function in the deaths of nearly fourteen, 000 nursing home patients in between 1999 and 2002.

The New You are able to Times report detailed a study carried out by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. Based on the inspector general, more than 1 . 5 million people live in the nation’s fifteen, 000 nursing homes. To participate in Medicare health insurance and Medicaid, facilities must meet up with federal health and safety standards. These programs cover more than two-thirds of medical home residents, and cost taxpayers more than $75 billion per year.
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Based on the inspector general’s report, in the past season, poor nursing home conditions were the subject of 37, 150 complaints. Of these, 39 percent were later substantiated by inspectors, and at least twenty percent involved the abuse plus neglect of patients. What’s more, 17 percent of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or even immediate jeopardy” to patients, the particular report said.

About two-thirds from the nation’s nursing homes are owned and operated by for-profit companies. Non- profit organizations own 27 %, while government entities own plus operate 6 percent. Of the amenities owned by non-profits, 88 % were cited for violations, whilst 91 percent of government-run institutions received citations. According to the report for-profit nursing homes averaged 7. 6 insufficiencies per facility, while not-for-profit plus government homes averaged 5. seven and 6. 3, respectively.

To protect a loved one living in a nursing house, it is important to understand what constitutes nursing house abuse and how to spot it. The most typical type of nursing home abuse is neglect. Understaffing at nursing homes could be the main culprit behind this kind of mistreatment. Evidence of nursing home neglect consists of bedsores and stiff joints, along with signs of depression. A patient who shows up over medicated or is needlessly sedated could be a victim of medical home neglect. The smell of urine or feces and bad personal hygiene are hallmarks of the problem. Extreme unexplained weight loss in an otherwise healthy resident can also be a sign of abuse. And if visitors are created to wait while the staff readies a patient to see them, – or will not allow the visit at all – overlook could be the reason.

Nursing home neglect is as much a crime every other form of abuse. Nursing house neglect robs patients of their dignity, and it can be deadly. Neglected medical home patients have been known to wander away from facilities, and sadly some of these patients have died of exposure. Other unattended patients have been allowed to die as a result of undetected internal bleeding or other ailments that could are actually corrected with proper medical care.

Bodily abuse is an unfortunate fact of life in many nursing homes. Nursing home staff are often guilty of this crime, but abuse among residents is not really unheard of. About 2500 cases of physical abuse by nursing house staff are being reported each year. Whilst physical abuse encompasses crimes like battery, it also includes placing a patient in excessive restraints or literally confining residents for no justification. Over-medicating patients simply to keep them peaceful, or withholding medical care are also kinds of physical abuse.

And sadly, sexual abuse also occurs in nursing homes. Again, both staff and other occupants can be guilty of this type of abuse. According to a 1996 Medicaid Fraud Survey, 10% of all physical abuse situations in nursing homes are of a sexual nature. Sexual elder abuse is described as non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with a nursing home resident. Intimate contact with any person incapable of giving permission is also considered sexual elder abuse.

Often , nursing home sexual misuse goes undetected. Sadly, the bodily and cognitive impairments common among nursing home patients make it unattainable for them to fight off sexual assailants or report sexual abuse. Some actual signs of nursing home sexual abuse bruising around breasts, upper stomach, or inner thigh; is often evidence of inappropriate touching or worse. Indicators that a nursing home resident has been the victim of a sexual assault include bleeding from the vagina or anus; the presence of a sexually transmitted disease; problems walking or discomfort when sitting down; and irritation or itching within genitals.

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