The Human Rights Watch (HRW) works to investigate, expose, and change human rights violations throughout various parts of the world. Although many people mistakenly believe that the most egregious cases of abuse happen in distant parts of the world, some of the most disturbing abuse cases occur in the United States. Many of these human rights violations involve Maryland nursing homes and assisted living centers for older adults and those with disabilities. A recent report by the HRW revealed that neglect and prolonged isolation of those in nursing homes might have resulted in severe harm to residents.
Reports from independent monitors and interviews from more than 60 people revealed that many nursing home residents suffered dehydration, acute weight loss, bedsores, mental and physical decline, poor hygiene, and inappropriate use of psychotropic medications during this last year. HRW attributes these conditions to inadequate staffing during the pandemic and lack of family oversight because of visitor restrictions. In many cases, family members alert authorities to neglect and abuse occurring at these facilities. Without this additional safeguard, many residents suffered long-term abuse and neglect over the past year.
A researcher at HRW explained that before the pandemic, the government failed to ensure the safety of nursing home residents adequately. The pandemic reflects that these long-standing failures came at a high cost to families. Reports indicate that nearly 40% of COVID-19 deaths occurred at nursing homes. However, these numbers reflect only a portion of the toll that the pandemic took on nursing home residents. Despite the concerns regarding Maryland nursing home residents’ treatment, many laws shield nursing homes from liability for their negligence.
What Is Being Done to Prevent Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home reform measures and similar regulations protect residents from neglect and abuse and require them to be treated with dignity. However, these abuses continue to occur at alarming rates. For instance, one of the family members interviewed in the study reported that their 86-year-old mother experiences dementia and resides in a nursing home. Before the pandemic, the woman was able to perform certain hygiene and care tasks for her mother. However, when the facility imposed restrictions, the woman could only observe her mother through video calls. During these calls, the woman noticed that her mother’s appearance looked unkempt and unclean. However, she could not see the extent of her mother’s condition because she was wearing complete personal protective equipment. She believes that the facility did not bathe or perform basic hygiene care for her mother during this time. Facilities that engage in this type of abuse or negligence should be held liable for their conduct.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Abuse or Neglect at a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries related to abuse or neglect at a Maryland nursing home, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. The attorneys at our law firm share the concern that one of our country’s most vulnerable populations is being treated improperly. We use our skills, experience, and resources to ensure that Maryland nursing home abuse victims recover the compensation they deserve for these horrendous violations. In addition, our law firm handles an array of Maryland injury claims involving motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, product liability, and wrongful death. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.