As Maryland nursing homes and nursing homes across the country shut their doors to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people worried how it would affect the residents’ care. Without visits, families may not be able to observe their loved ones up close and speak to them in private. In addition, Maryland nursing homes have struggled with staff shortages during the pandemic, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also suspended certain investigations during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, there have been reports of an increase in reports of neglect in nursing homes. Some families claim that the pandemic has put their loved ones at risk because they cannot monitor their loved one’s care and well being. It can be difficult to detect neglect in some cases, especially without the ability to visit a resident in person. Many residents have underlying health issues and may not understand or express that they are being neglected. Families can still look for signs of neglect such as poor personal hygiene, lack of mobility, unexplained injuries, changes in appearance, and psychological distress. If a resident has been the victim of abuse or neglect, the resident or the resident’s family may be able to file a claim against the nursing home for negligence. After a resident’s death, a family can also file a claim for wrongful death.
Virginia Nursing Home Investigated for Neglect After Police Reports Filed
According to one news source, a disturbing story has led to allegations of neglect at a Virginia nursing home. The facility was closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and loved ones were no longer allowed to visit with residents. One resident at the facility reportedly fell out of bed, despite having bumper pads on her bed, contracted COVID-19, and developed wounds on her foot. Her family eventually decided to move her to a hospital, where she needed two toes amputated due to the severe infection of the wounds (with one being so severe that her toe bone was exposed), and she had bruises all over her body.
The resident died two months after her fall. The state Department of Health found that the facility’s staff failed to properly treat the resident’s wound, and it was not evaluated by a physician for over two months. Her granddaughter said that she believes if she had been allowed to visit in person, this would not have happened. Another police report filed around the same time period at the same facility showed that another resident at the facility was “raw and red” because of a “large amount of dried fecal matter in her diaper.” Both cases are under investigation.
How Can Families Hold Nursing Homes Accountable for COVID-19 Related Deaths?
Families who lost a loved one in a Mryland nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to recover financial compensation through a wrongful death claim. However, these claims are complicated by the fact that some nursing homes have argued they are immune from liability under existing laws. Those with questions about bringing a nursing home neglect claim should consult with an experienced attorney.
Consult a Maryland Nursing Home Attorney
If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected at a Maryland nursing home, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, our Maryland nursing home attorneys take pride in advocating for the rights of victims against negligent nursing homes, incompetent health care providers, careless drivers, and other defendants and their insurers. Our injury attorneys will guide you through each step of the legal process. To set up a free initial consultation, call Lebowitz & Mzhen at (410) 654-3600 or contact them through their online form.