Nursing home and assisted living facilities provide care to over 1.7 million residents. Residents in nursing homes receive medical care, participate in various activities, and have interactions with other residents. Nursing homes provide 24/7/365 care that many family members were not able to provide on their own.
For those who have a family member in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, the resident’s well-being will always be a major concern. Families of nursing home residents are facing even more concerns right now.
Life as we once knew it changed dramatically with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many health care facilities, families, individuals, business, etc. continue to conduct things in ways they never thought they would have.
We have all been hit hard with the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, and it continues to lead to a number of issues where health care facilities have been burdened with restrictions, stay-at-home orders, safer-at-home orders, and more.
COVID-19 and Nursing Home Facilities
From the beginning, it was no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the elderly. The elderly continue to suffer difficulties related to healthcare and gaining access to healthcare facilities. One of the most perilous affected types of facilities during the pandemic has been nursing homes.
Since the elderly are at a higher risk, it is the duty and the responsibility of the nursing home facilities to ensure that the residents are kept safe. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the amount of nursing home abuse across the country.
Not only are nursing home residents suffering more due to the coronavirus, but they are also experiencing isolation, loss of freedom, loneliness, and a loss of support. As a result, the emotional and mental state of many nursing home residents have declined because of their lengthened isolation.
Although there has been a great amount of attention given to the risks surrounding the impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes throughout the pandemic, the pandemic has also been the cause of other damaging circumstances suffered by nursing home residents.
Nursing home employees continue to be overburdened because of the pandemic, and they have not been able to properly care for residents. As a result, many are suffering. There has been an increase in the number neglect and abuse reports, including residents being left with bedsores and other injuries.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse has been a problem in the United States for decades. Despite the intentions that family members have when placing a loved one in a nursing home, stories of abuse and neglect do happen in nursing homes.
Nursing home abuse occurs when there is any type of harm that is inflicted on elderly residents. Forms of nursing home abuse include emotional injuries, physical injuries, assault, and other types of abuse. Nursing home abuse can also include neglect and financial exploitation.
This year, there have been more reports of nursing home abuse than usual during this pandemic. Abuse of the elderly occurs most often in nursing homes because residents are the most vulnerable.
Generally, people who reside in nursing homes often need a significant amount of assistance from a caregiver. Nursing home residents depend on their caregivers, and that is one of the reasons why they are in the nursing home.
Some risk factors of being a victim of abuse in a nursing home can include the following:
- social isolation
What Are Some Examples Of Nursing Home Abuse?
As mentioned earlier, nursing home abuse can happen in many ways, and it can include:
- Withholding food and water
- Failing to bathe or clean a resident
- Sexual assault and abuse
- Yelling and berating
- Refusing to care for the resident’s basic needs
The Rights Of Nursing Home Residents
A nursing home resident has the right to remain in a nursing home free from any type of abuse or neglect. If abuse or neglect takes place in a nursing home, a claim can be filed against the nursing home. Some potential signs of neglect and abuse can include the following:
- unexplained injuries
- poor hygiene
- insufficient funds
- fear of contact
- unclean living conditions
Every nursing home will have specific laws and protocols they must follow. If a nursing home does not follow the proper protocols and fails to adhere to the laws, an injury lawyer can file a claim on behalf of the resident or the resident’s family. When coronavirus makes its way throughout the entire nursing home facility, it is very likely every staff member is not doing all he/she can to protect all residents.
Who Is At Fault?
Nursing home staff members owe their residents and the residents’ family members a duty of care. As it relates to the coronavirus, a nursing home has an even greater responsibility to adhere to laws and guidelines. Nursing home staff members also have to take extra measures and precautions as it relates to the preventing the spread of the virus.
If a nursing home fails to adhere to the standards, it can produce unfavorable results and more residents will be put at risk. A personal injury claim against the nursing home or a wrongful death claim can include the following factors:
- A duty of care was owed to the injured party
- There was a failure to uphold the duty of care
- A resident suffered an injury
- The injury the resident suffered cause damages
As mentioned earlier, nursing homes have a long history of problems involving abuse and neglect. With no signs of coronavirus slowing down, failure to take every step to protect residents can result in serious injuries and complications.
If you believe your loved one may have been abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact an experienced nursing home abuse accident injury lawyer for a consultation.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers today at 507-424-3000 or complete our online form to request a free case evaluation. You deserve to have a dedicated team on your side who will be the advocates you deserve.