Many elderly care facilities around the country have been cited for serious violations. It might come as a shock that these facilities have high ratings despite endangering residents. A recent investigative report by the New York Times has revealed that nursing homes go to great lengths to protect their ratings by hiding evidence of abuse.
Long-term elderly care facilities should be held accountable for violating federal regulations and endangering residents. A hard-working nursing home abuse attorney will be able to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Not Reporting Abuse to Authorities
Medicare requires all elderly homes to report incidents of physical and sexual abuse immediately. Unfortunately, at least 1 in every 4 cases go unreported as per a government audit. Under Medicare rules, nursing home staff is also required to report suspected criminal incidents:
- Within 24 hours if no serious injury took place
- Within 2 hours if serious bodily harm occurred
A government audit showed that many facilities don’t comply with these requirements. There are other unreported incidents of intentional abuse and accident injury as well. For instance, a caregiver may drop a patient while giving them a bath and fail to report it. Or, a caregiver may purposely assault or strike a resident and try to cover it up.
Caregivers may resort to falsifying a patient’s chart or fail to document the injury or incident indicating neglect and abuse. In a few elderly homes, the staff may also put fake information next to vital stats, urine output, and medication given.
Not Recording Changes in Patient Condition
In many cases, updated patient details never get added to the chart. The caregiver may document the same conditions and stats as the staff in the previous shift documented. This may be done without even checking on the patient. These are a few conditions that typically go unreported:
- Bruising or evidence of physical abuse
- Worsening or presence of bedsores
- Signs of resident dehydration or malnutrition
- Unexplained emotional distress and other mental conditions resulting from abuse
Nursing Home Staff May Intimidate Patients
Caregivers can falsify documentation in the patient’s chart. They may also threaten or intimidate already neglected and abused residents into silence. In such situations, residents may be too afraid to even open up to their family members.
Secretive Appeals Process
Federal and State inspections are in place to protect residents by uncovering abuse and other dangerous incidents. Pertaining to this, in many cases, inspectors avoid writing up severe issues as well. They tend to ask facilities to improve the situation rather than issue a citation.
Facilities that are provided with a citation may seek to overturn them through a secretive appeals process. This process is hidden from public view. In fact, the public will never know about the citations if the facility wins the appeal. This makes it critical to speak with a trusted nursing home abuse attorney to protect your legal rights.
Choose a Results-Driven Nursing Home Injury Law Firm with a Track Record of Successful Settlements and Verdicts
If you suspect a loved one to be the victim of nursing home abuse, the experienced attorneys at Walton Law, APC can help you seek compensation and justice. Our attorneys will patiently listen to your concerns and take adequate steps to achieve a favorable outcome. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (866) 338-7079 or fill out this online contact form.