Department of Health Substantiates Claims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

The Minnesota Department of Health recently published a report on its website, stating that it had substantiated claims of neglect and abuse in at least two different nursing homes.

In the first case, a disabled resident was allegedly neglected when an employee left her inside of her room with the lights off, the call light out of reach, and the door closed.

The report stated that another employee later found the resident on the floor with a broken leg and wrist. The employee responsible for the incident was subsequently disciplined, and later fired. The resident has since recovered, but her primary caregiver stated that, “the accident took a lot out of her.” The administrator of the nursing home acknowledged that mistakes sometimes happen, but that they will never compromise their residents’ safety, accounting for the decision to fire the employee responsible.

No sanctions were issued against the facility. The report stated that the center had taken corrective action, which included the retraining of its employees regarding call light accessibility. It also conducted an audit of its call lights to ensure functionality.

In a more shocking example of nursing home abuse, an accusation was substantiated regarding a resident allegedly being slapped, spit upon, and held agressively. Apparently, the staff members had been attempting to give the woman a shower, but she was kicking, hitting, and spitting at the three employees. According to reports, when the resident spit in a nursing assistant’s face, the woman responded by spitting back, slapping the resident on the mouth, and telling her to “stop acting like a 2 year old!” The nursing assistant denied the account, stating that she only put a washcloth in the resident’s mouth in order to keep her from spitting, but the third employee present at the time of the incident verified the exchange. The nursing assistant was suspended, and subsequently fired.

In that case, the health department ordered the facility to take corrective action, which included updating the woman’s care plan to include her right to refuse a shower.

Sadly, the alleged abuse and neglect which took place in Minnesota can and does happen elsewhere. Even Maryland has nursing homes and assisted care facilities where elderly and disabled residents are abused and neglected. In many cases, the victims of these crimes are either too frightened of retribution or incapable of communicating what has happened to them to do anything about it. Neglect and abuse towards patients suffering from dementia is increasingly common for this reason, and also due to the difficulties that caring for them can entail.

While the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is responsible for monitoring the facilities within Maryland, the cases of abuse and neglect persist. Most commonly, neglect can include things such as failure to turn a resident often enough, so that they develop bedsores. However, in cases of patients with complex medical needs, more straightforward medical malpractice can also sometimes occur.

If you suspect that a loved one or an elderly friend in the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the knowledgeable nursing home negligence and abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen right away. We can evaluate your case and help assess whether your loved one or friend may have a cause of action against the nursing home, and advise you regarding which steps to take next. We have many years of experience assisting people across Maryland in securing compensation for injury or other harm, and in some cases wrongful death, caused by nursing home neglect, abuse, or medical malpractice. Contact our office today at (800) 654-1949 in order to set up your free and confidential initial consultation. You can also contact us online through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Oklahoma Considers Hidden Camera Law to Protect Nursing Home Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 26, 2013
Nursing Home Fined by State Authorities for Overmedicating Patient, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 23, 2013

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