For those who provide for aging family members and loved ones, placement in a nursing home is the best way to ensure they get the quality of care they need. Unfortunately, incidents of elder abuse and neglect have become rampant, leading to dramatic increases in death rates among residents in these facilities. In these situations, a wrongful death claim can help you get justice for your loved one, while ensuring negligent providers are held accountable.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
A May 2017 Huffington Post report highlights studies in Australia indicating nursing home resident death rates have more than quadrupled over the past two decades. These deaths largely involve nursing home abuse or neglect, in which staff failed to provide the quality of care residents needed. The study states that fatalities are often preventable, and lists the following as among the top causes of nursing home deaths:
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Choking on food or medications;
- Complications after receiving critical care;
- Transportation accidents;
- Assaults by staff and other residents;
- Drowning and asphyxiation.
Elder abuse and neglect is a major problem in U.S. assisted living facilities as well, resulting in an overall decrease in life expectancy rates. According to Life Care Funding, a nursing home insurance provider, research indicates that while the normal life expectancy for a healthy 78-year-old living independently is 15 years or more, that figure is reduced by as much as 75 percent once they enter a nursing home.
Lack Of Care In Nursing Homes
Masters in Health Care reports the following facts about the quality of care provided in nursing homes, which will come as a shock to anyone with a loved one in these types of facilities:
- Roughly one third of all nursing home residents suffer some type of elder abuse or neglect.
- More than 20 percent of all cases of abuse go unreported.
- Nursing home inspections show nearly 92 percent of all nursing homes report some type of deficiency in providing care.
- 90 percent of nursing homes are improperly staffed.
- More than 5,000 nursing home deaths each year are attributed to some form of negligence.
- One out of every four nursing homes is cited for the death or injury of a resident.
If your loved one is residing in a nursing home, it is important to be alert for the signs of abuse or neglect. The American Association of Retired People (AARP) states that these include being unresponsive or acting withdrawn or depressed, the appearance of bedsores, bruises, and unexplained injuries, and having untreated medical conditions. In Texas, you can find out how a nursing home ranks alongside other facilities by using Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool.
Reach Out to Us Today for Assistance
If you have a loved one who died under suspicious circumstances while receiving care in a nursing home, call or contact DJC Law online today. We can arrange a free, confidential case consultation with a talented Austin accident lawyer, who can advise you on how to hold negligent nursing home providers accountable for the loss you have suffered.