Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
A growing area of personal injury law over the last several years has been Arizona nursing home neglect and abuse. Family members who have loved ones in nursing home facilities often call us with complaints of abuse or neglect leading to injury. We are working on several nursing claims at this time.
You hope that when a loved one enters a nursing home, they will be treated properly. However, that does not always happen. More than half of all nursing homes are owned by large chain corporations, and two-thirds are operated for profit. Too often, short staffing or under-qualified staff members lead to subpar conditions in Arizona nursing homes, and increase the potential for neglect or abuse. Here is a list of several types of abuse and neglect:
Nursing Home Neglect in Arizona
- Bed sores
- Decubitus ulcers
- Infection caused by neglect
- Unsupervised fall injuries
- Medical error
- Medication error
- Bed rail injury or death
- Burns due to smoking or bathing
- Lack of socialization/stimulation
Nursing Home Abuse in Phoenix
- Insufficient protection from physical abuse or sexual abuse
- Patients being dropped or otherwise injured by staff
- Emotional abuse or isolation
- Financial exploitation
- Withheld medical or dental care
- Assault by resident or staff member
- Employment or housing of sex offenders or convicted felons
- Improper restraint
Arizona nursing residents can be exposed to abuse because of poor mental or physical condition. If your family member is in a facility, be on alert for neglect and abuse indicators, even if you trust the residence and the nursing staff. Look for bedsores, bruising, significant loss of weight, big mood changes, or issues involving sedation, restraint or overmedication of your family member.
The vast majority of nursing homes in the United States are run as part of a large chain. And most are owned by for-profit enterprises. In many cases, budget constraints, short-staffing and other issues contribute to nursing home neglect. Aging Baby Boomers will further stress the system. In fact, by 2020 retiring Boomers will swell the population of those ages 55 to 64 by nearly 75 percent. Ongoing cuts to Medicaid and Medicare programs may also exacerbate the issue, pushing more homes to boost profits via questionable cost cutting.
Arizona nursing home residents deserve quality care. At Abels & Annes, we think that the elderly in Phoenix should be treated with respect and compassion, and we believe abused or neglected residents of nursing facilities should be well compensated. Our goal is to provide experienced legal counsel and obtain the best result possible for each of our clients.
In many cases, residents who are most at risk of being neglected or abused are those suffering from dementia, those who are incapacitated and residents who are otherwise unable to protect themselves. As the retiring Baby Boomer generation threatens to overrun the already crowded system, nursing home operators continue to lobby lawmakers across the country to permit fewer hours of registered nursing and professional care as a means of cutting costs and increasing profits.
Meanwhile, the cost of nursing home care in Arizona exceeds that of many fine hotels – averaging $200 to $300 a day in 2010.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
- Be aware of general cleanliness and whether a home is sanitary. Many of these facilities see the vast majority of visits around the holidays. Obvious signs of problems during these peak periods are a real warning sign.
- Visit during meal times and try the food.
- Observe the general condition of residents. Malnourishment and dehydration are far too common in nursing facilities.
- Ensure residents have access to activities and ample time to socialize and exercise to the extent they are able.
- Check staffing ratios and observe the staff. Light staffing or high turnover can both increase the risk of nursing home neglect or abuse.
- Resident restrictions: Check to see whether those with dementia, handicapped adults, or those with criminal records or violent histories may occupy the facility, as well as any safeguards in place to ensure resident safety.
- Signs of withdraw, behavioral or mood changes and loss of appetite may be obvious signs of distress. However, they may also be signs of the declining health of a loved one. In many cases, a resident may be hesitant to come forward with allegations of abuse. Have a private talk and let them know they should voice any concerns.
At Abels & Annes, we believe it is up to each one of us to help police the system, and to help ensure our most vulnerable older adults are treated with the care and dignity they deserve. If you have concerns about the conditions of an Arizona nursing home, or are dealing with a suspect case of neglect or abuse, contact us for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless you win your case. Call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk to you about your potential case.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home incident, call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free consultation.