Nursing Home Abuse Globally
Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 04, 2015 in Nursing Home Information
Recent high-profile cases of nursing home abuse and neglect have poured in from residents and their families not just in West Virginia and not even just in America, but from countries around the world. The publicized abuse allegations have covered issues ranging from leaving residents without adequate supervision to failing to meet patient nutritional and medicinal needs and everything in between.
Sadly, even though the facilities themselves are spread around the world, the circumstances of nursing home abuse are very similar to complaints seen in the states, including:
- Lack of supervision leading to wandering away (one recent international lawsuit involves an 83-year-old Canadian dementia patient who was left unsupervised at a nursing home, wandered away and was found drowned in a nearby river), which can lead to exposure, hypothermia, heat stroke or frostbite, depending on the climate
- Inattention to medical needs like a low-salt or low-sugar diet resulting in deteriorating health
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Prescription drug errors like giving the wrong medication to a resident, giving the incorrect dosage of a medicine or failing to administer needed medications as ordered by a patient's medical care team
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse by staffers, fellow patients or visitors
- Failure to adequately monitor bed-bound patients and for pressure sores that could lead to systemic infection
Fall injuries resulting in broken bones (a recent study performed by a gerontology researcher at the University of Southern California and reported by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that one in five new nursing home patients suffers a serious fall within the first four weeks of residency)
Finding The Right Nursing Home
Regardless of where a nursing home is located, in order for a resident to get the best possible care, the facility needs to be a "good fit" for the patient's physical and emotional needs.
Unfortunately, though, it can be difficult for a family or individual to process the difficult questions involved in selecting a residential care facility, particularly if the patient needs to be admitted to a nursing home on an emergency basis. There are tools available to help. One source of assistance is the U.S. governments Medicare program. Medicare provides a comprehensive guide to finding a nursing home, and provides a multi-point checklist of questions that should be asked of a facility's administration to determine if a patient's needs and desires will be met there.
Whether a nursing home or other residential care facility is located in West Virginia, across the nation or in another country, residents there deserve to be treated with due care and respect. If you or a vulnerable loved one has been injured by the abuse or neglect of a care provider in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation; contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in your area to learn more about possible legal avenues.