Study Reveals Dangers of Unlicensed Care Facilities

medical assessmentNursing home residents in Maryland and throughout the country have the right to live in a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect. Claims against nursing homes can range from physical mistreatment and sexual abuse, to neglect, financial exploitation, and psychological abuse. Cases of Maryland nursing home abuse or neglect may not be obvious, as a resident may have difficulty communicating and may not even be aware of the neglect or abuse.

It is important for families to remain vigilant to identify cases of abuse and neglect, by looking out for warning signs, including poor hygiene and unexplained injuries. Although licensed care facilities are required to follow certain laws and regulations under federal and state law, some individuals are being under-cared for in unregulated, unlicensed homes, increasing the risk of abuse and neglect to those individuals, as one study recently found.

Abusive Unlicensed Care Homes Pose Serious Risks

A year-long study raised concerns about serious risks at unlicensed care homes in the United States, finding that “egregious crimes” are being committed against residents, according to one news source. RTI International, an independent, non-profit research firm, conducted the study for the Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Participants reported the conditions in the homes as being abusive, neglectful, and financially exploitative. Some of the concerns raised in unlicensed care settings included improper management of medications, unsanitary living conditions, and fraudulent collection of government payments. One expert noted that in some cases, residents are moved from one facility to another to evade law enforcement, sometimes across state lines. Informants reported that many unlicensed care homes were not meeting minimal standards concerning personal care and medication supervision.

The study concluded that unlicensed care home facilities pose serious potential risks, particularly for adults with disabilities and mental illness, who are especially vulnerable to abuse. The study also provided recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services, including: improving oversight of discharge practices from hospital psychiatric units, finding new ways to locate unlicensed and/or illegal care homes, and corroboration between states on identifying and monitoring facilities.

The study’s author explained that unlicensed care homes are often operating in residential neighborhoods and that they are “hidden in plain sight.” The author recommended that individuals be vigilant in detecting suspicious scenarios in order to identify unlicensed homes.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Unfortunately, many Maryland nursing home residents suffer from abuse and neglect. For those individuals in the Maryland area who have experienced the trauma of nursing home abuse or neglect, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen will gladly assist you with properly handling a legal claim against those responsible for the poor treatment of your loved one. If you believe that a loved one at a nursing facility is being neglected or abused, it is likely that other residents are also being abused or neglected. Do not waste any time before speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you regarding the proper steps to take. Call 1-800-654-1949 for a free consultation today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Upholds Validity of Nursing Home Arbitration Contract in Recent Personal Injury Case, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 20, 2018.

Prosecutors Ask Judge to Dismiss Case Against Neglectful Nurses, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 7, 2018.

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