Most people assume that when they place their loved ones in a Maryland nursing home, they will be well taken care of. But unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is rampant not just in Maryland but across the nation. For instance, one Pennsylvania nursing home recently made headlines when, partially as a result of inadequate staffing, residents were severely neglected and three even died. Recently, the former manager of the home pleaded no contest to recklessly endangering residents, in a shocking story that highlights how sinister nursing home neglect can be.
The misdemeanor charges stem from incidents in 2017, when a state health department inspection, prompted by five complaints, found severe neglect of residents in the home. One patient had “wounds that went down to the bone with exposed tendon.” The facility was severely deficient in caring for wounds, clearly, but also failed to respond to residents who suffered significant weight loss due to not eating, and inadequately responded to acute changes in residents’ medical conditions. One man told reporters that when his brother, who had soft-palate cancer, stayed in the facility, he was repeatedly forced to go eight to sixteen hours without any pain medicine because the facility ran out. The findings of the inspection were so shocking, in fact, that the state health department revoked the facility’s license—a rare step—and installed a temporary manager.
One suspected reason for the neglect? Inadequate staffing.
Is Nursing Home Understaffing Common?
Research has shown that the presence of registered nurses is essential to high-quality care in nursing homes. But, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the former manager of the home cut staffing significantly, which then led to the neglect. Unfortunately, instances of nursing home and neglect are not rare, and not limited to this specific home. What is rare, ironically, is the facilities being held accountable for the harm they caused. The misdemeanor charges against the former manager are a significant victory in holding those in charge accountable for their actions but do little to help the individuals being neglected or abused in nursing homes across the country, including in Maryland. That’s not to say these victims have no legal options, however. Many families who discover their loved one has been harmed or has died, while in a nursing home have chosen to bring personal injury lawsuits against the nursing homes to hold them accountable for their negligence. These lawsuits put the focus on helping the plaintiff, not punishing the defendant, and can provide monetary damages to cover medical bills and pain and suffering. While the misdemeanor charges in the case discussed above are important to hold managers accountable for neglectful practices, the former manager now spending time on house arrest and probation will do nothing to actually help the victims of his actions. Personal injury lawsuits, however, will.
Get Started Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Negligent Nursing Home Today
If you are looking for information on holding a negligent nursing home accountable for its actions, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, today. Our Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys understand the toll nursing home abuse and neglect can take on families, and have years of experience working to hold neglectful facilities accountable to Maryland families. Call now to learn more at 800-654-1949.