Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Improvements in health care over the past three decades have resulted in Americans living longer. However, as Fairfield Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers, we know how vulnerable our aging population is to abuse and neglect. Few decisions are more difficult then moving a loved one to a nursing home. When we do, we expect our family member to be treated properly and with respect and dignity.
In Connecticut there are over 30,000 nursing home residents. The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, empowered under Connecticut General Statutes 17b-400, protects the rights of residents of skilled nursing facilities, residential care homes and managed residential care communities. However, as Fairfield County Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers we know that the Program cannot guarantee the safety of residents.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health allows residents of nursing homes or their families to file a complaint about care and treatment received in a nursing home. Reasons for filing a complaint include abuse, neglect, mistreatment, understaffing, and unsafe or unsanitary conditions. As Fairfield Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers, we encourage you to file a complaint if you are concerned about care and treatment in a nursing home. You can use this link to make that complaint: https://dphflisevents.ct.gov/Complaints.
Protections afforded by the Connecticut Department of Public Health are frequently inadequate. Elderly residents are often unable to advocate for themselves. When the safety net fails to protect them, you should consider consulting a Fairfield County Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer to advocate for them.
Abuse of a nursing home resident can be physical, verbal, or sexual or include the inappropriate use of restraints. Neglect at a nursing home can include failing to provide for the resident’s basic needs, (food, water, medication) or failing to properly guard against falls or failing to provide proper medical care.
Connecticut General Statutes Sections 17a-412 and 17b-451 require certain medical professionals to report suspected abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of the elderly to the Department of Social Services within 72 hours. The Connecticut Department of Social Services investigates these complaints for any person 60 years or older and provides the victim with protective services. If the complaint is confirmed, the matter is referred to the State’s Attorney’s office for possible criminal prosecution. In 2017, there were 7,197 abuse investigations conducted by the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
One of the greatest risks for nursing home residents confined to bed or a wheelchair is developing pressure ulcers, also called bedsores. Bedsores are an injury to the skin caused from the pressure of being in one position. Bedsores frequently develop on bony areas of the body such as hips and tailbones. They can cause infection, even death, and can take a long time to resolve. The nursing home must follow proper protocols to prevent them from ever developing. These protocols include repositioning the resident in bed and changing wheelchair position at certain intervals as well as providing good nutrition to the resident.
As Fairfield Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorneys, we have years of experience litigating cases due to nursing home malpractice. Many times, residents are already suffering from dementia or other illnesses which makes it almost impossible for them to survive these medical mistakes. We have successfully handled cases where unmonitored bed sores have caused sepsis, a serious infection causing organs to shut down, resulting in the resident’s death. We have also handled cases where the resident was given an improper diet and choked to death. In these cases, we retained medical experts who testified that the medical providers and staff were careless and responsible for the resident’s death. It is heartbreaking because proper care could have prevented the injuries and death.
If you or a family member are the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or residential facility, contact the attorneys at Robinson Mahoney for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.