How the Covid-19 Pandemic Exacerbates Problems of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect have been widespread since before 2020 and the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. The arrival of the novel virus presented many challenges to elder care that have reduced the quality of life of many nursing home residents. Instances of abuse and neglect have also sharply increased since the beginning of 2020. A recent trade publication describes some of the factors and issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic that has put a strain on the nursing home industry and contributed to increased instances of abuse and neglect.

The rise of Covid-19 put a strain on the staffing of nursing homes, assisted living centers, and long-term care facilities. Illness, lockdowns, and travel restrictions made it more difficult for nursing homes to find qualified staff to offer care to their residents. Understaffed nursing homes resulted in residents being neglected as there were simply not enough skilled workers to offer care that met a reasonable standard. In some cases, the needs of residents increased as a result of the lessened social interaction and restrictions on family contact caused by covid-19 restrictions.

Although reduced staff and increased need help explain the uptick in abuse and neglect instances, these explanations do not make a valid justification for substandard care. Nursing home residents who have been victims of abuse or neglect, and their families, are entitled to recourse. Nursing homes often carry malpractice and liability insurance to cover their financial responsibilities in the event of abuse or neglect. The nursing home and long-term care industries contribute billions of dollars in profits to owners and executives, funded by both private payers and the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid. Victims need not shy away from seeking compensation simply because the pandemic made administering nursing homes more difficult for the owners and executives.

Why Is Nursing Home Abuse Underreported?

Nursing home abuse and neglect problems often go unreported for several reasons. Many residents do not have an outside advocate to ensure that care is given up to the legal standard. Furthermore, nursing home residents often have mental or psychological conditions that may prevent them from realizing or reporting that they are a victim of abuse or neglect. Families of nursing home residents are often the first line of defense in discovering instances of abuse and neglect. Families with loved ones who they suspect are victims of abuse or neglect should advocate for their loved ones and pursue actions on their behalf in order to hold providers accountable for providing substandard care.

Do You Have a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Maryland?

If you or someone you love has reason to suspect nursing home abuse and neglect in Maryland, contact the negligence attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen as soon as possible. Our qualified injury and malpractice attorneys can advise you if there is a cause of action for nursing home abuse and neglect of your loved one. Our firm also handles other Maryland tort cases, including auto accidents, slip and fall, products liability, and medical malpractice. We offer clients no obligation for initial consultations free of charge to evaluate their potential claim. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney on our legal team.

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