Nursing Home Abuse | Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog - Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
Choosing a nursing home to take care of our loved ones is a stressful process. You want to make sure the facility is safe, comfortable, and affordable. Unfortunately, nursing homes are not always up to snuff and many turn out to be hazardous for those who rely on them. To try and combat the dangers of bad nursing homes, the group Long Term Care released a report detailing which nursing homes have been given a one out of five-star rating by the federal government.
Alarmingly, Arizona is home to 17 of those one-star nursing homes.
In 2003, Arizona’s Adult Protective Services investigated over 8,000 reports of elder abuse throughout the state. Of those complaints, one-third were found to be legitimate.
Recent stories in the news have sparked fear among those with loved ones in nursing homes. If you suspect Phoenix nursing home abuse, there are ways to report it, and you may be able to file a claim for compensation for a loved one’s injuries.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be one of the most difficult decisions for any family. It can be difficult to know which nursing home will provide the best care, and if your family member will really get the help he or she needs while there.
You can definitely go online and read reviews for each facility online, and those can be helpful. However, it’s a good idea to take anonymous comments with a grain of salt.
Online research can be deceiving. It’s important to get the whole story.
Stories about nursing home residents being mistreated or neglected are heart-wrenching to hear. Unfortunately, in every city where there are nursing homes, the potential for abuse exists. Recently in Florida, during the hurricane, several nursing home residents died and dozens more were hospitalized after being abandoned without air-conditioning, power, or water.
While Arizona doesn’t experience hurricanes, it does experience severe heat waves. Air-conditioning, power, and water are all necessities, especially for older people who are prone to heat-related illnesses and use machines to help them survive.
Although retirement homes differ from nursing homes in the way that they’re designed (for elderly individuals who can live independently and don’t need as much medical care), the decision to place a loved one there can still be extremely difficult. After all, the retirement home staff will see your family member on a daily basis and provide him or her with care. So how do you know which retirement homes are the best?
When reading online reviews, are you really getting the whole story?
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office launched the Taskforce against Senior Abuse (TASA) in efforts to heighten awareness and enforcement of many types of abuse directed toward seniors, one of which is emotional abuse. Their Elder Abuse Information and Training Guide defines it as follows:
Nursing facilities provide a variety of personal care services that are necessary for day-to-day activity such as getting in or out of a bed, bathing, using the bathroom, getting dressed, and eating. These facilities also provide many medical care services or skilled care, which is to be performed by those with the necessary skills and training. One common function of skilled care involves wound care, which may involve pressure sores, ulcers, burns, surgical entry sites, fistulas, tube entry sites, and tumor erosion points.
All nursing homes operating in the State must be licensed and meet state quality standards. Nursing homes that receive federal monies must also comply with federal certification standards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversees long-term care facilities nationally, as those two programs fund the majority of the facilities. Many nursing homes struggle to maintain staffing levels necessary to provide timely and quality care.
In February 2016 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and US Department of Health & Human Services published a study on long-term care. Nursing homes are institutions within the long-term care industry, which is poised for unprecedented growth in the US. The number of Americans that will be over the age of 65 is projected to increase from roughly 40 million in 2010 to roughly 88 million in 2050. The increase in older Americans is occurring at a time when family size is decreasing and more women are employed full-time, which potentially results in the decrease of the available traditional family caregivers, and bolstering demand for external providers to care for the elderly.
Recently there have been quite a few wrongful death cases filed against nursing homes across the US. With the “baby boomer” generation entering their older years, the long-term care population is soon going to spike. The laws and policies regarding wrongful death claims against nursing homes have some variations among the states, including who associated with the deceased is able to file a wrongful death case. Wrongful death is defined in AZ Statute as being someone’s death resulting from wrongful action or neglect. Further, if the deceased were still alive, they would have qualified to bring a personal injury suit seeking damages. The AZ Statute states that a suit for wrongful death can be entered in the name of the surviving spouse, child, parent, guardian, or if none exist, the representative of the deceased’s estate.
Get Help Now
During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer