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Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing Home Negligence

neglect-nursing-home-patientOur personal injury lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, handle elder abuse complaints involving injuries, bedsores, and wrongful death at residential care facilities. In addition, our nursing home abuse attorneys can provide immediate legal advice that will report abuse allegations and resolve your loved one's safety concerns.

Call our nursing home neglect attorneys at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free case review. Let our law firm review the evidence and determine who is legally responsible for your elder mistreatment.

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Over the last couple of decades, there has been a sharp rise in the prominence of for-profit nursing home chains that has coincided with increased reports of nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to the CDC, there are around 15,600 nursing homes throughout the United States serving 1.4 million elderly residents. In addition, nearly 9 million patients receive some form of assisted short-term or long-term care every year.

The number of nursing homes owned by for-profit businesses has nearly reached 70%. The nursing home negligence attorneys of Nursing Home Law Center LLC do not find it a coincidence that the saturation of the nursing field with corporations out for financial gain has resulted in an epidemic of abuse and neglect.

Call (800) 926-7565 Toll-Free for a No Obligation Consultation

Common Nursing Home Abuse and Injuries

From 2010 until the present day, there have been over 324,000 deficiencies reported for over 15,000 nursing facilities throughout the country. These deficiencies are classified by severity, with B class offenses considered minor concerns and ranging to L class offenses, the most heinous and irresponsible.

Over 90% of all nursing homes have at least one recorded deficiency in violation of federal regulations, meaning that the odds are highly likely that your family members could be subject to some form of substandard care, even if the offense were minor.

Here is the number of deficiencies recorded over the last six years by a class of offense.

  • Class B Offenses: These offenses do not result in physical harm to patients but represent a risk of potential injury and developing a pattern worthy of concern. More than 7,100 of these deficiencies were reported during the last six years, and 264 were reported in Illinois.
  • Class C Offenses: Like Class B offenses, a Class C offense doesn't result in any actual harm but poses a significant risk to patients. The upgrade from a Class B to Class C offense occurs when the issue is considered widespread. There were 7,746 of these deficiencies reported, 1,091 of which occurred in Illinois.
  • Class D Offenses: Most deficiencies reported fall into this category, representing offenses that present the potential for more serious harm, even though no actual injury was reported. Class D offenses are isolated and not widespread, but 185,619 of these offenses were recorded.
  • Class E Offenses: A Class E offense is like a Class D offense as it is more widespread and part of a pattern. Whenever a pattern of negligence is established, a nursing facility should be subject to higher levels of scrutiny to ensure that the pattern does not lead to an actual injury. There were a total of 85,855 Class E offenses reported.
  • Class F Offenses: These offenses pose the risk of more serious harm and are considered widespread or systematic. A Class F offense indicates an elevated risk that the negligent pattern could result in physical injury or elder neglect. Nearly 22,000 of these violations were reported.
  • Class G Offenses: A Class G offense indicates that a patient suffered an actual injury, but the event does not place other nursing home residents at risk of similar harm. These deficiencies are isolated events and are usually the result of individual actions rather than systematic negligence. 9,999 Class G offenses were reported over the last six years.
  • Class H Offenses: These violations result in moderate injury but indicate a developing nursing home abuse or neglect pattern. While other patients are not considered at immediate risk of harm, the concern is no longer due to an isolated event. Roughly 837 of these violations were reported.
  • Class J Offenses: A Class J offense represents an immediate and serious threat to an elderly patient that resulted in a physical injury or emotional abuse that required medical care. These events are isolated and not part of a systemic pattern. There was a total of 2,410 Class J offenses recorded.
  • Class K Offenses: These offenses are due to a consistent pattern of negligent or abusive behavior. Class K offenses are part of systemic nursing home abuse patterns and pose a hazard to all patients at the offending facility. There were 2,012 of these offenses recorded.
  • Class L Offenses: Considered the most severe and heinous class of offenses, these offenses represent widespread deficiencies that exhibit a complete disregard for the safety of nursing home residents and staff members. There were 719 Class K offenses recorded in 2012.

Call (800) 926-7565 Toll-Free for a No Obligation Consultation

Our nursing home negligence lawyers feel that the data above indicates the need to change the system to protect our home residents from the impact of reckless greed on their health and safety.

To discourage negligent and abusive nursing facilities, we aggressively pursue the maximum amount of financial compensation allowed by state or federal law on behalf of those who have suffered from nursing home abuse, elder neglect, or negligence.

In many situations, episodes of neglect may give rise to legal action to recover compensation for medical care, medical expenses, and punitive damages from the facility.

Nursing Home Neglect in Assisted Living Facilities

Elder neglect takes on many forms, including abandonment, where someone responsible for an elder's care deserts them, such as a family member, friend, or another individual.

In some cases, it's the adult children or other caregivers who have left an elder in the care of an assisted living facility and never return to check on them.

This behavior is more common than you might think. In cases where neglect can be proven due to abandonment, the adult children or other caregivers may still be held liable for the harm caused by their neglect and abandonment.

Nursing home neglect involves the failure of staff and other individuals to provide adequate care in nursing home facilities. In some cases, nursing home neglect results from a staffing issue – that is – there are not enough staff to properly care for elderly residents. In other instances, it may be a lack of qualified professional staff.

In all cases, a nursing home resident must rely on the facility and nursing home administrators to ensure their needs are met. Any inadequate care or lack of attention could compromise their health and well-being.

Is Negligence a Form of Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is an extreme form of neglect that results in significant harm to a resident. It can take many forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse or mental abuse, occurs when a caregiver uses threats and insults to create fear and anxiety in an older person.

Self-neglect occurs when an older adult loses their ability to perform self-care but does not get assistance or refuses it. Although this form of nursing home abuse isn't as violent as others, such as physical abuse, it can be just as harmful.

Elder neglect is often difficult to prove, making it even more challenging for an older adult who has suffered abuse or neglect. In addition, they may struggle with chronic illnesses, memory loss, and other issues that limit their ability to communicate what happened.

A nursing home negligence lawyer can help you hold negligent providers accountable for elder injuries resulting from neglect.

Nursing Home Neglect Facts

For every reported case of nursing home elder abuse, 57 cases are never reported. As a result, older adults who reside in nursing homes are at risk for neglect, which can cause physical and mental harm.

One study found that only 5% of respondents had never experienced or witnessed neglect. In contrast, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 15.3% reported experiencing some mistreatment within the past year.

Many cases go unreported as 12% percent admitted they neglected elderly nursing home residents one time within a year, according to a 2020 survey from World Health Organization where employees were interviewed anonymously.

This form often involves withholding food, water, hygiene, clothing cleanliness, etc., so it causes malnutrition, decreased mobility, depression, among other things.

A Growing Problem

There were over 142,000 cases of nursing home neglect reported between 2012 to 2013, which includes individuals who resided in assisted living facilities and other personal care homes.

This figure represents about 3% of the 1.4 million people living in a nursing home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These statistics represent a growing problem due to the rising elderly population. Between 2000 and 2030, the number of people aged 65 years or older with a disability is predicted to double from an estimated 9.9 million to 19 million, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Common Types of Negligence Injuries Involving Nursing Home Residents

The most common types of serious injuries our nursing home injury lawyers encounter when serving clients whose injuries were due to nursing home abuse or neglect is listed below.

If you have experienced any of the following or feel that your loved one's injuries were due to elder abuse or medical malpractice, we would like the opportunity to investigate your claim.

  • Medication errors: This may include prescribing or administering the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or prescribing medications without consideration for potential drug interactions
  • Nursing home falls: Due to lack of supervision, environmental hazards, or patient dropping during transport.
  • Physical or sexual abuse: Horrendous sexual assault and physical abuse is a heinous offense by staff members, employees, or other residents at nursing homes that can lead to criminal and civil litigation.
  • Assisted living accidents: Occurring during hospice care, home nursing, or at daycare centers
  • Choking accidents: Due to lack of supervision or failure to assist patients with a choking risk
  • Wheelchair accidents: Occurring while helping a patient into or out of a wheelchair or during transit
  • Evidence of physical or chemical restraints: The use of drugs or chemicals to subdue a patient
  • Fractured bones: Suffered due to an accident
  • Untimely or wrongful death: When a family member dies due to staff negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against the care facility
  • Medical neglect: Nursing home staff members fail to provide or prevent a resident's medical care properly. Medical neglect may result in inadequate diabetic care, pressure sores, infections, mobility issues, and other medical treatment concerns.
  • Neglects the basic needs: Nursing home staff neglects the basic needs of their residents if they provide them with an environment that is not clean or sufficient food and water.
  • Personal hygiene neglect: A nursing home's neglect of personal hygiene can be described as failing to provide residents with the dental care, laundry services, and baths they need.
  • Social or emotional neglect: When a nursing home resident's social and emotional care needs are ignored, they may be left alone often or not provided with enough of this type of care.
  • Understaffing: Causes a staff shortage, which leads to overworked employees
  • Inadequate training: Inadequate training can lead to neglect on the part of caretakers. If they are not properly trained for their roles, they may slip into patterns of negligence and failure to provide adequate care or even necessary attention towards those who need it most.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Warning signs of neglect include injuries, bruises, pest infestation, soiled bedding and clothing, lack of supervision, poor personal hygiene -- all of which are more likely to occur if the nursing home facility has a high number of staff vacancies.

Other signs that may suggest nursing home elder abuse and neglect include:

  • Unexpected weight gain: Significant weight gain may be a sign of malnutrition or dehydration.
  • Sudden decline in health: Unexplained injuries such as cuts, bruises, and broken bones can be signs of nursing home abuse.
  • Behavior changes: Withdrawal, depression, or anxiety should not go unnoticed if they are unexplained by the resident's doctor or family members.
  • Facility-acquired bedsores: Bedsores are usually caused by prolonged, uninterrupted pressure on the skin.
  • Urinary problems: Burning urination or injuries around catheter tubes may be signs of nursing home neglect
  • Unexplained weight loss: To indicate malnutrition, unexplained weight loss of a patient may be a signal that the nursing home ignores.
  • Bathroom accidents: Falls in the bathroom often result from a lack of supervision or poorly lighted facilities.
  • Left sitting in soiled clothing can lead to bedsores, rashes, infections, and other health concerns. Also, dressed inappropriately for the weather conditions; too much clothing or not enough clothing can lead to health problems such as hypothermia.
  • Depression, anxiety, or paranoia: This can be caused by confusion, physical pain, and untreated health conditions
  • Self-harm: Hitting themselves, kicking, unexplained injuries such as cuts, bruises, and broken bones, can all be signs of nursing home neglect.

An unreasonable fear of people could indicate that something is wrong if the nursing home resident believes an abuser will retaliate if they speak up.

According to "the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry," the most common type of elder abuse reported in nursing homes is neglect. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is too common in this country because of understaffing, lack of supervision, compromised safety measures, and a desire to cut costs.

Failing In Their Duties

Nursing homes are supposed to provide care and support to seniors who need assistance with their daily living activities. Unfortunately, when these facilities fail in their duties, tragedy can occur for the residents that depend on them.

The federal government has established minimum mandates that nursing homes must provide under Medicaid, including food preparation, housekeeping services, and personal care assistance.

According to Health and Human Services, nursing home neglect is preventable when sufficient staffing levels and qualifications. You can help us increase awareness of nursing home neglect and abuse by sharing this post and letting others know how to identify neglect.

In any given year, roughly 1 in 5 Americans over 65 will enter a nursing home because they have been abused or neglected.

Do you suspect that your parent or relative is a victim of nursing home neglect while residing at a long-term care facility? If so, act immediately and report your concerns to Adult Protective Services.

Nursing Home Neglect in Assisted Living Facilities: Do I Have a Case?

Do you believe that you, your loved one, or someone close to you has been the victim of nursing home neglect? Do you want to hold the staff responsible for elder abuse or neglect? If so, a nursing home neglect attorney at our law firm can provide the legal representation in civil court you need to seek recovery in a nursing home negligence case.

An experienced elder abuse lawyer can also help you with your claim by advising whether there are any viable grounds for filing a lawsuit against the negligent party, such as an assisted living facility, hospital, or rehabilitation center.

An abuse attorney at Nursing Home Law Center can review your case to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit against the nursing facility.

Do you suspect that there are sufficient grounds for filing a nursing home neglect suit? If so, we can help you file legal paperwork with the court, negotiate with the negligent party's lawyers, and present evidence to resolve your compensation case.

Attorneys Committed to Prosecuting Cases of Elder Neglect

Nursing Home Law Center LLC is a leading provider of award-winning legal services. Our law firm has a special legal team dedicated to assisting clients who have loved ones who suffered abuse and neglect and were injured due to home negligence in a skilled nursing facility setting.

Contact our affiliated attorneys today at (800) 926-7565 to arrange a free legal case review with one of our qualified and experienced nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more about your legal rights and options. If we cannot secure compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.

All personal or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.


Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric