Nursing homes are supposed to be safe facilities that provide high-quality care. Unfortunately, nursing homes can actually harm residents in some cases. Abuse may come from staff, other residents, or outside parties. It is important to take abuse allegations seriously and to act on them immediately to keep older adults safe.
Nursing Homes & Abuse Allegations
Families expect that nursing homes will keep older adults safe — but time and time again, residents and their loved ones have come forward with allegations of abuse.
Nursing home abuse may occur when a senior is physically injured, emotionally harmed, coerced into a sexual situation against their will, or neglected. Seniors may also experience financial abuse, which occurs when an abuser takes control of a senior’s finances without their knowledge or consent.
All abuse allegations in nursing homes must be taken seriously — by staff, loved ones, medical providers, and legal experts. Understanding the abuse allegations and investigating them can help get a loved one who may have suffered from abuse out of harm’s way.
Below, you can read about examples of abuse allegations in nursing homes and learn what can be done to protect your loved ones.
Example #1: Nursing Home Wrongful Death from Lack of Care
In Forest City, Iowa, a nursing home was ordered to pay $6 million to the family of a female resident. The children alleged that nursing home neglect and recklessness caused their mother’s death in 2017.
According to reports, the nursing home failed to provide proper medical care, which led to the woman’s death after a decline in her health. Once her children sued and presented the allegations, an Iowa judge ruled in their favor without sending the case to a jury trial.
Example #2: Nursing Home Neglect Leads To Police Investigation
An older woman fell at her home in October 2020 and subsequently went to a nursing facility called Raleigh Court in Virginia for medical treatment and recovery. Unfortunately, the woman was neglected at the facility and her health declined rapidly.
Her son alleged that neglect led to her death, and that upon visiting he found she had both bruises and bedsores. Roanoke City’s Adult Protective Services investigated and noted that they found a “preponderance of evidence” that the woman was a victim of neglect or abuse.
Example #3: Sexual Abuse Claims Not Taken Seriously
An older woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a nursing aide in an El Cajon, California facility. Further, the woman claimed that other staff members at the nursing facility did not believe her and failed to investigate the claims.
Eventually, there was an investigation led by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The state legally requires police to be notified when a claim of abuse is made by a resident.
The CDPH found that the nursing home did not immediately report the sexual abuse claims as required by state law. It waited eight days to file a report, which prevented the police from gathering the evidence needed for an arrest.
A separate incident at another nursing facility and further CDPH investigation led to the nursing assistant’s license being revoked. The nursing assistant was cited by CDPH for three violations.
Example #4: Family Claims Grandmother Was Physically Abused
A family alleged that their 79-year-old grandmother was hit with a call light button at the Smith Ranch Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in California. She had only been living in the facility for two weeks following a stroke.
Further, the victim claimed she was neglected after she fell in the facility and no one came to help her. One family member described the staff members as “evil”. The family was told by staff that the resident caused her own injuries.
The family moved their grandmother to another facility in San Francisco once the abuse was discovered. The local police were alerted and are still investigating the event.
Get Help for Abuse Allegations in Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse is completely unacceptable. The physical and emotional scars left after abuse can cause lifelong damage.
If someone you love claims that they were abused in a nursing home, it’s important to make sure their voice is heard. You should report the alleged abuse immediately.
You can report nursing home abuse allegations to:
- Nursing home ombudsmen: A nursing home ombudsman is an advocate for senior residents. Nursing home ombudsmen help seniors and their families to resolve issues or disputes at nursing homes.
- Law enforcement: Law enforcement can investigate nursing facilities after an abuse claim. They sometimes work in tandem with local or state aging regulatory authorities.
- Nursing home abuse lawyers: Nursing home abuse lawyers can help victims and their family members pursue financial compensation in cases of abuse or neglect.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you can get a free case review to see if you can pursue compensation. Legal compensation can help pay for a victim’s medical expenses and help a family find peace of mind. Contact us today and we can help you get started on your case.