Based on recent examples, future of nursing home care looks bleak
Posted on behalf of Mark F. Griffin of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 08, 2015 in Nursing Home Abuse
Aging is a part of life and, in some cases, physical and cognitive health problems may hinder one's ability to live independently. For an individual and his or her family, making the decision to move into a nursing home can be stressful and emotional. Family members may spend months researching potential residential facilities in an attempt to find one they believe will provide for the health and safety of their loved one.
Sadly, many nursing homes across the country fail to deliver on the promises they make to residents and family members. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in a study of 2,000 nursing home residents, 880 reported suffering abuse and 1,900 said they either personally suffered neglect or witnessed the neglect of other residents.
Amid claims of rampant resident neglect and abuse, a company that owns and operates a chain of nursing homes on the west coast has been named as a defendant in at least 15 lawsuits. The company has vehemently denied all allegations of wrongdoing and recently filed for bankruptcy, claiming legal fees related to defending the lawsuits contributed to its precarious financial state. Consequently, any payouts to nursing home neglect and abuse victims and their family members that may have resulted from the lawsuits have been halted.
By the year 2029, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be age 65 and older. A significant percentage of these individuals will likely eventually come to rely upon assisted living and nursing home facilities for their daily living and care needs. Given this most-recent example of how nursing homes are choosing to deal with allegations of abuse and neglect, it's clear that much more needs to be done to regulate these facilities and hold those parties accused of providing substandard care or carrying out violent or neglectful acts accountable.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Nursing Homes Face Baby-Boomer Lawsuits," Mike Heuer, Feb. 19, 2015