Disability Law Center Investigation Uncovers Understaffing, Overmedication, and Neglect at Nursing Home

Under the best of circumstances, it can be difficult to select a good nursing home or care facility for your loved ones. Trusting such institutions to help our loved ones and family members following hospitalizations or for long-term care is a stressful and complicated process. That decision can be even more nerve-wracking when widespread practices of elder abuse, medication errors, and financial abuse are uncovered. When nursing homes and care facilities fail to meet the basic requirements of care for residents, they must be held accountable.

Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Go Largely Unreported?

There is an inherent power balance between residents and staff in nursing homes. Staff are in charge of feeding, treating, and caring for residents, often making residents fully or largely reliant on staff members. That imbalance can result in a hesitation to report or take action when abuses are occurring. Additionally, many residents may have trouble directly or clearly communicating their experiences. As a result, it often falls to visitors and loved ones to advocate for them when things go wrong. It is extremely important to take a resident seriously if they disclose or report instances of nursing home neglect or abuse.

Bear Mountain Investigation

A recent article discussed a two-year investigation into the Bear Mountain Worcester nursing facility. According to the Disability Law Center (DLC), the investigation uncovered a slew of violations relating to abuse or neglect of its patients. The DLC says they found several Nursing Home Reform Act violations in the course of the investigation. During their research from October 2021 to October 2023, the DLC found “evidence of a reliance on antipsychotic drugs, questionable schizophrenia diagnoses, isolation, a lack of effective interdisciplinary behavior plans, and minimal engagement with patients in the neuro-behavioral unit.”

Additionally, the DLC found that patients in the neurobehavioral unit, suffering from maladies like brain injuries, anxiety, depression, dementia, and trauma were also found to have been routinely medicated with multiple antipsychotics and other psychotropic medications. Further, guardians and families also reported widespread infections at the facility, as well as known rodent infestation and unclean communal spaces. The investigation also found that Bear Mountain did not have any staff trained and credentialed in psychiatric nursing, a psychologist, or any psychiatric and neurological consultations.

The DLC says these issues stem from a severe lack of staffing and clinical expertise and are common problems among for-profit healthcare providers like Bear Mountain.

Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Neglect Attorney?

If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home or long-term care facility in Prince George’s, Charles, Baltimore, and Montgomery County, contact the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for help. Our attorneys have many years of experience fighting for the injured and will work to provide you with the support, legal knowledge, and confidence to proceed with your claim. The costs stemming from injury or abuse can quickly become overwhelming, and having a team of experienced lawyers on your side can make all the difference. To schedule a free and confidential consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.

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