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Maggots, Sores, Allegations of Neglect…. Is it time for police to get involved in cases involving poor nursing home care?

Maggots, Sores, Allegations of NeglectA somewhat unusual news story was forwarded to me over the weekend that involved police intervention in a case involving a severely neglected nursing home patient.  Apparently, staff at a Via Christi Hospital (Kansas) called police after a nursing home patient was taken to their hospital for care.

Immediately after they began treating the man, it was readily apparent that that man was not in good condition as hospital staff noticed maggots and open sores on his feet when they removed his shoes.  According the the news report, police have initiated an investigation into the care provided at the Desert Health Group facility.

Police involvement?

Though certainly not a common occurrence, there are some situations involving extreme neglect or abuse of a nursing home patient that deserve to be investigated by police or other law enforcement officials.  Particularly if an incident has not received proper attention for the nursing home ombudsman or state department, the family may wish to escalate the investigation by contacting police.

Further, when a crime has occurred at nursing home, family may wish to contact the local police department.  In addition to securing the scene and removing the dangerous individual(s) from the facility, a timely performed police investigation holds the possibility of safely securing the physical evidence from the scene for potential use in both criminal and/or civil proceedings.

As a nursing home lawyer who has counseled frustrated families with compromised legal options following an episode of extreme neglect or abuse, I find myself continually wishing that these families took it upon themselves to contact some agency or police so that the conditions could at least be documented by a third-party.


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