Injuries from falls and other medical issues are a common reality for many elderly adults. However, in the environment of a nursing home, many of these accidents are preventable. Nursing home abuse, neglect, and poor care often lead to dangerous medical conditions that can threaten the life of your loved one.
Types of Medical Problems Caused by Abuse
Substandard nursing home care can lead to a wide variety of health issues, including:
- Fractures and broken bones – Up to 27% of falls in nursing homes can be attributed to environmental factors like wet floors, improperly maintained wheelchairs, poor lighting, and incorrect bed height.
- Malnutrition and dehydration – Nursing homes are required by federal law to test all residents for signs of malnutrition and dehydration upon their admission into the facility, and every three months while they are a resident. If eating and drinking is not carefully regulated, problems like anemia, pneumonia, muscle weakness, and urinary tract infections can occur.
- Pressure sores – According to recent studies, around 11% of nursing home residents suffer from pressure sores: painful ulcers caused by prolonged pressure on a single bony area of the body. Pressure sores are often the result of malnutrition, failure to re-position wheelchair bound and bedridden residents, and failure to change clothing and sheets.
- Medication errors – Around 800,000 drug-related injuries occur every year in nursing home settings. Medication errors involving anti-anxiety medication and sedatives can increase a patient’s risk of falls and related injuries, as well as depression, allergic reactions, and sudden cardiac arrest.
Holding Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable
A nursing home resident’s rights are protected under the Nursing Home Reform Act. If residents and their families have complaints, they can bring their concerns to an Ombudsman – an appointed official who represents the interests of nursing home residents. Unfortunately, some elderly residents are incapable of voicing their complaints, or too afraid of reprisals.
If you believe substandard care is to blame for your loved one’s medical condition, our elder abuse attorneys in Virginia at Kalfus & Nachman can help you investigate the nursing home facility and determine whether or not you have a valid case. Reporting nursing home abuse is important for several reasons. Not only will you help protect others at the facility from similar abuse, but you can recover the fair compensation your loved one deserves to cover their losses.
When elderly people cannot defend themselves, it is vital that friends and family step in to protect them. If you suspect your loved one’s nursing home facility of abuse or neglect, please call (800) 361-0430 or contact Kalfus & Nachman today to schedule a free initial consultation.
We represent nursing home abuse victims in the Norfolk, Roanoke, Newport News, and Portsmouth areas of Virginia.