Elder Abuse Attorneys Work to End Maltreatment in Nursing Homes
As originally reported by Chris Elkins with DrugWatch, abuse in nursing homes continues to plague elderly and infirm patients despite efforts to end this upsetting cycle. Although government officials have made efforts to enact legislation that would reduce occurrences of abuse, unfortunately, those laws did not reduce the severity or number of reported incidents each year.
Until the general public hears the horrific details of the abuse cases, many people ask, “Is nursing home abuse common?” The fact is nursing home abuse is unthinkable to the average person. It’s expected that elderly and infirm individuals will receive the gentle and compassionate care needed to stay in good health and spirits while living in nursing homes.
Sadly, offending caregivers may allow the stress of providing daily care to cloud good judgment, leading them to suddenly and unexpectedly lash out at patients. The way a nursing home is set up can exacerbate rather than reduce the stress levels of those on the front lines of care. Instead, facility operators focus on maximizing profits while reducing expenditures. Nursing homes may ignore regulations and overload caregivers with too many patients without providing the necessary physical and mental health breaks. Recently, Medicaid revealed more than 300,000 operation violations, which likely contributed to the abundance of elder abuse incidents.
Legal revisions are currently in the works to address the high incidence of violations and attempt to reduce nursing home abuse cases. The overhaul includes fines and possible shutdowns for repeated violations. Nursing home facilities are encouraged to improve operations to meet the goal of improved conditions that result in healthier, happier patients.
The facility operators are also strongly advised to reduce their reliance on compliance-enhancing drugs like antipsychotics. All medications given to patients must meet the given label specifications, not used in an off-label manner. With many nursing homes starting to follow these medication regulations, they are achieving their reduction goals in a reasonable amount of time.
If families suspect their nursing home-bound loved one is on the receiving end of abuse, it is important to immediately contact the authorities to make a report. Families can receive assistance and support from elder abuse attorneys by contacting Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630. Lawyers can also help make a case against the nursing home facility and staff to recoup medical or personal losses stemming from abusive actions.