Nursing Home Abuse

As our population grows older, there is an increasing dependency on long-term care facilities for elderly family members. There are over 17,000 nursing homes in the United States that currently care for over 1.6 million residents, a figure expected to quadruple to 6.6 million residents by 2050. In North Carolina in 2003, there were 423 nursing homes with a total of 43,362 beds.

For most, life in a nursing home is a comfortable, healthy environment with appropriate standards of care and treatment. But when nursing homes and assisted living facilities fail to meet their obligations to their residents, the results can be catastrophic. It is truly heartbreaking when a beloved family member is the victim of abuse or neglect.

While there are many federal and state regulations governing the quality of care in nursing homes, neglect and abuse have become a widespread problem affecting thousands of elderly residents who are dependent on such facilities for care. Nursing home neglect and abuse have increased by 20% from previous years and occurred nationally in 1 out of 3 nursing homes. One study found that 9 out of 10 facilities fail to employ enough workers to provide adequate care. Moreover, an estimated 1 out of 5 nursing home abuse cases go unreported.

The list of injustices to the health and dignity of senior citizens because of nursing home neglect and abuse is frightening. Residents can fall out of beds because of inadequate railings. Inadequate supervision may allow confused patients to leave the grounds unnoticed or injure themselves. Neglect in nutrition or hydration can cause a rapid decline in health or early death. Serious bed sores and infections can develop rapidly from failing to change bedclothes, keeping residents clean, or turning or repositioning residents. Nursing home abuse can include physical battering, humiliation of residents, ignoring or intentional seclusion of residents, and unwanted sexual touching.

Our elderly loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities deserve to live with dignity and an appropriate standard of care. When these rights are violated, resulting in serious injury, the resident is entitled to damages. If an elderly family member dies as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, the family may have a Wrongful Death claim against the facility. At Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, LLP we have the experience and resources to help family members of elderly residents injured or killed by nursing home mistreatment and to hold negligent or abusive facilities accountable for their conduct.


Practicing in this Field

Bradley A. Coxe

Partner, Attorney at Law

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Nursing Home Abuse