Ronald Reagan signed a comprehensive nursing home abuse law entitled the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. The law was passed because a study by the Institute of Medicine at the behest of Congress found alarming rates of abuse, neglect and inadequate care of nursing home patients.
Nursing home abuse remains a serious problem as reported by the U.S. General Accounting Office which found 25% of nursing homes “had serious deficiencies that cause harm to residents or placed them at risk of death or serious injury.” Patients and their families in Maryland are increasingly going to court to address nursing home abuse, neglect and malpractice cases.
More than 500,000 reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported. Nursing home abuse is so serious that 1 in 10 of the nation's nursing homes violations were "serious enough to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury."
There are several different types of nursing home cases: (1) abuse, (2) neglect and (3) medical malpractice.
1. Nursing Home Abuse is defined under Federal law as the “willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.” Common examples of nursing home abuse include following:
· Assault and battery
· Unreasonable or unnecessary confinement
· Inappropriate use of drugs
· Verbal abuse or intimidation
· Sexual conduct without consent
· Intentional withholding nutrition and/or hydration
2. Neglect is negligence or indifference that leads to physical harm, pain or mental anguish. Neglect is defined under Federal law as the “failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness.” Common examples of nursing home neglect include the following:
· Neglect of one’s physical or mental needs
· Failing to provide medical care or alert medical staff of problems
· Not acting to prevent bed sores or infection
· Unintentional malnutrition or dehydration
3. Medical malpractice
If you or someone you love is a victim of nursing home abuse in Maryland, a nursing home attorney can help protect you and your love ones and to seek compensation for the resulting serious injuries. If you need a nursing home attorney, click here.