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Investigation finds nursing home abuse on the rise

When those who are paid to care for the elderly do not do their jobs, some of the most vulnerable people in the population are left at risk. The elderly who are in nursing home care often cannot speak for themselves, and it is up to those who love them to protect them from nursing home neglect and medical malpractice. Understanding the facts surrounding nursing home neglect will help those supporting elderly relatives take a stand to protect their loved ones from doctor error and caregiver neglect.

Individuals in Connecticut who have a loved one in a nursing home will be interested to know of a recent investigation that found an increase in nursing home injury cases. The Bloomberg News investigation found a growth in the number of fraud and abuse charges across the nation, and that increase seems to be directly related to a growth in the number of for-profit nursing homes.

The investigation found several instances of abuse linked specifically to for-profit homes, such as an 80-year-old woman placed in a standing frame for more than an hour, even though she was unable to support her head. In another instance, a 77-year-old patient choked on her dinner because of a lack of supervision.

According to the investigation, 30 percent of the sampled claims that were determined to be improper came from for-profit homes, compared to 12 percent for non-profit homes. Lawsuits filed by law enforcement officials and families of residents who died alleged that some of these for-profit nursing homes tried to keep their costs down by limiting the number of employees on staff.

For an elderly individual in frail health, a doctor's mistake can quickly turn fatal. Negligence in a nursing home setting can lead to a worsened medical condition and lower quality of life. In situations such as these, the families involved need to know their rights, so they can do all they can to protect the people they love from personal injury due to negligence.

Source: Huffington Post, "For-Profit Nursing Homes Fuel Rise In Fraud And Abuse Charges," Jeffrey Young, Dec. 31, 2012

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