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Nursing home abuse, neglect victims at higher risk of death


Posted by Brendan Faulkner of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 22, 2013 in Nursing Home Neglect

Discovering that a loved one has been abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated in a nursing care facility can be very difficult for families to come to terms with. We generally expect that elderly patients will be treated with dignity and respect when they are at such a fragile and vulnerable stage in their lives. But too many families in Connecticut are seeing signs of nursing home neglect or abuse when they visit a loved one and a recent study confirms that these concerns should not be ignored.

The study explored the effect that repeat hospitalizations for largely preventable conditions in elderly patients can have on a person. The conditions that were identified in this study included dehydration, infections and other symptoms that are common signs of abuse or neglect. 

After looking at millions of assessments of elderly patients, the study concluded that many patients who had to undergo multiple hospitalizations for these ailments were at a higher risk of dying than those who were not admitted to the hospital as often. 

Patients who are repeatedly being mistreated or neglected in a nursing care facility often have to be taken to the hospital in order to treat the original condition. As the frequency of hospital trips increases, so too does the likelihood for complications, oversights in medical treatment and illnesses contracted in the hospital setting. 

On average, the study concluded that the average survival rate for patients in the initial assessment was 476 days. But for the patients who had to be taken to the hospital two or more times, this number plummeted to less than 150 days for those suffering from malnutrition, infections and dehydration. 

Monitoring the care that our loved ones receive in a nursing home can be very difficult for families to do, but it can be crucial. Those who suspect that their loved one is being mistreated can work with an attorney to address the situation and hold those who may be responsible for the abuse accountable. Taking action can also prevent others from being hurt and suffering from preventable illnesses.

Source: HealthDay News, "Signs of Potential Trouble for Nursing Home Residents," July 16, 2013