This blog has talked about nursing home abuse on several occasions, but this is an especially dark time for the practice. It seems like every week there is another national headline reporting some reported nursing home abuse.
A recent $20 million jury award
Nationally known Mariner Health Care’s Parkview Healthcare Center was recently ordered to pay $20 million in damages and court costs (including, $9.6 million in punitive damages) by a jury that found that the nursing home committed abuse that ultimately severely injured their residents and killed some. The trial took four months and covered 10 plaintiffs, including the families of five dead patients and five individual nursing home residents. Of course, Mariner Health Care is still denying any wrongdoing and “reviewing their options.”
According to Bay Area News Group, the issues with the nursing home existed prior to the last few years, but were exacerbated recently. The neglect stemmed from staffing shortages, which led to improper staff and not enough time spent on bathing and wound care. This was in addition to the lack of supplies, like diapers, towels, linens, etc.
In 2018, four or more patients were physically or sexually assaulted. This was due to the bad acts of another resident that was allowed to hunt victims because of a lack of overcite. And, even though, it was reported that residents were screaming for help, there was simply no one around to help (or those that were there did not care or did not want to get involved).
Consultants find pervasive nursing home negligence
Manatt Health Strategies, a consultant hired by the state of Illinois, found that recent times has exacerbated an already under regulated and extremely poor nursing home industry. They found that state regulators routinely did not enforce staffing requirements or even impose penalties for infractions. This, of course, has led to an exploding number of nursing home negligence complaints by residents and their families. Again, the issues stemmed from staffing shortages.
As just these two most recent examples show, nursing home abuse is pervasive across the country, including here in Olean, New York. But, a key takeaway from these stories is that staffing shortages can be the first sign of trouble and when one should start making complaints.