Elderly people who have succumbed to a disease or illness are vulnerable and frail. They are in a very precarious state, where the slightest aggravation to their body can cause severe health damage. Family members are usually not equipped with the expertise and resources to care for their ill loved ones, so they decide to admit their elderly family members in nursing homes.
When an elderly individual is admitted to a nursing home, family members are assured that their loved ones will be taken care of. The nursing home staff guarantees optimal care and tells the family members not to worry. However, once the family members leave, the situation becomes quite different.
The Reality of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are increasingly suffering lack of resources, lack of staff and most importantly, a lack of expertise. Many workers do not have the training required to care for their elderly patients in the best possible manner. At other times, resources and equipment are at such a low, that the health of the elderly patients is compromised.
Unfortunately, not only the resources and materials are lacking in nursing homes. One of the biggest problems is when the staff of nursing homes does not care for its patients. Many residents have been neglected for days, their pains are waved off as ‘nothing serious’ and their issues are never resolved.
Arkansas Nursing Home Death
An example of the lack of care and professionalism found in nursing homes today is the case of the death of a 76 year old in an Arkansas nursing home. Staff failed to take the elderly patient to the emergency room even after she was complaining of severe abdominal pain. Staff communicated via fax messages to send the elderly patient to the emergency room and the fax was ignored. The patient died a day after complaining of the severe pain.
Overworked and Unprofessional Staff
Such instances are occurring in one too many nursing homes. The staff is overworked and this leads to lack of care with the patients. Neglect of elderly patients is not acceptable, as any small issue must be taken into account right away.
Many nursing home staff members have also become unprofessional and are merely completing their work for the day, with the least amount of effort possible. This leads to many oversights and patients are left untreated for days before getting adequate care.
Nursing Homes and the Law
Fortunately, the law is taking an important step in assessing this matter. Families of loved ones who have died or have been severely injured due to the lack of care of nursing home staff are appealing to the courts for compensation and justice. The family of the 76-year-old Arkansas woman was awarded a substantial amount for the pain and suffering their mother went through before she died. Legal advisors are available for families who wish to fight back against unprofessional nursing homes.
There should be no room for lack of care or management in nursing homes. The lives of patients are at stake and the slightest neglect or miscommunication, such as what happened in the Arkansans nursing home, can become a matter of life and death.
For laws related to Arkansas nursing homes, look here.