Elder Abuse is an epidemic in the United States and all over the world.
Elders needing long-term care are perhaps the most vulnerable members of our society who should be given the greatest of care after having most honorably carried the torch the bulk of their lives, having successful careers, raising families and even serving in our armed forces. In their waning years, many cannot ambulate without assistance and some can no longer speak. No one but the most compassionate frequently care for our loved ones when we finally lack the skill to treat them ourselves.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are frequently underfunded and poorly staffed. This issue was recently covered by the Connecticut Post. Consequently, seniors are not always given the care they so richly deserve.
It is not uncommon for nursing home patients to have become dehydrated and malnourished in a facility because the attending individuals are not monitoring their patients as closely as they should. Bed Sores, also known as Pressure Sores and Decubitus Ulcers can emerge very quickly, should the patient not be turned on a regular basis and the individual’s skin is subject to easy shearing. Infections such as C diff and EColi lead to sepsis (infection of the blood) may result, causing a wrongful death.
What can be done
Make sure that you frequently visit your loved ones and speak to them as often as you can, assuming they are able to communicate. Consistently make sure you advocate for them. If you see or hear problems, immediately talk to the staff and let them know what your specific concerns are. Ensure they follow up on your concerns. After all, your loved ones can no longer care for themselves. It is still up to you to ensure it is done consistently and effectively. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
You can also exercise rights on behalf of the senior you are attempting to help. You can seek refuge in the probate court, which frequently oversees nursing homes in the context of conservatorships where you can seek transfer to another facility should it be necessary. It is always helpful to have the watchful eye of the judicial authority to assist you should you need it. You can also plan for the future during the time period that the family is conducting their estate planning to ensure enough assets are in reserve to get your loved one into the nursing home of their choice where you can ensure they will be treated best.
In the event that disaster happens such that a senior actually becomes hurt as result of nursing home malpractice or assistance is needed in the planning phases to assure a good outcome, please feel free to contact us. We address estate planning and elder abuse in all its forms on a daily basis.