The Scary Secrets People Need to Know About Nursing Homes

Posted April 5th, 2016 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

nursing home abuse anthony carboneWe’ve all heard the horror tales of nursing home abuse.  Consider this South Jersey news article highlighting the hidden secrets that go on behind the scenes.  How is this even possible?

A licensed practical nurse decided it was her job to do the “right thing.”  She reported an incident she found improper.  We applaud her for her caring nature.

A photograph says so much more than words.  Imagine a dying patient under hospice care.  Now picture that person in a wheelchair.  So far, the depiction is sad.  But, it doesn’t sound like abuse.

It’s the overall image that will get to you. The individual is tethered to the wheelchair.  Bed sheets have been tied in a knot to keep her in place.  Her blouse is conveniently positioned to conceal the restraints.

The article gives the woman’s name, but we won’t.  After all, this type of thing could happen locally.  Jersey City.  Union City.  Anywhere in Hudson County.

This patient we’ve kept nameless is the poster child for nursing abuse.  Hidden.  More than likely tied up so she wasn’t a bother.  And, then there’s the attempts to cover up the neglect.  A sad state of affairs.

Insufficient Staffing Can Lead to Nursing Home Abuse

Part of the problem may be issues with workforce availability.  Some nursing homes operate with skeleton staffs.  In fact, earlier this year, legislators considered this issue.  They decided to address whether there should be minimum staffing requirements.

The results of the proposed bill?  The Legislature set specific numbers.  They called for a ratio of one nursing assistant to every eight residents during the day.  The number was increased to one for every ten residents during the late day.  At night, it would be appropriate for nursing homes to assign one assistant for up to 16 patients.

Sound reasonable?  Governor Chris Christie didn’t agree.  According to news articles, he vetoed the bill without explanation.

Insufficient staffing is just one issue however.  It’s a problem that makes workers try to cut corners.  Like ignoring patients.  Or confining them.  They may even consider chemical restraints.

There can be out and out abuse. Disgusting stories of caretakers pulling patient’s hair and smacking them.

Often, the elderly are suffering from dementia.  Their tales of abuse are questioned as imaginary.  A sad state of affairs.

Some may be subjected to incredible acts of sexual abuse.  Perhaps the nursing home failed to conduct appropriate background checks.

Nursing home abuse can be as simple as neglect.  A patient left in bed without human contact.  Another confined because of illness, but never turned.  The result.  Ugly bed sores.

The stories can be dreadful.  Particularly, if you already have guilty feelings leaving Mom or Dad confined to long term care.  It will be hard to contain your outrage.

What Can You Do?

We understand the emotional battle with placing a loved one in a nursing home.  Obviously, you need to research the facility before you make the decision.  Start with asking about staffing requirements and background checks.

However, you need to be proactive if you have suspicions that something is wrong.  Make a friend at the facility.  Check in regularly. Consider if there is some credibility to your loved one’s complaints.

If you do think there is something bad going on, talk to us.  At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have many years of experience investigating and pursuing nursing home claims.  Contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your concerns.

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