Friday, October 7, 2016

Nursing Homes, Negligence, and Elderly Abuse

On Sept. 28, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new rule that guarantees patients and their families to nursing homes for abuse and negligence. The new rule bans pre-dispute arbitration clauses popular in nursing home contracts which have, in the past, contractually bound patients and family members to settle disputes in arbitration rather than the court system. Now, nursing homes can be sued in court if accused of wrongdoing.

The new rule is the latest step forward in a wave of calls for accountability in elder care and abuse prevention. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that more than five million Americans are affected by some form of elder abuse each year, and while state and federal government entities are focusing attention on the issue, elderly abuse can be difficult to identify and prevent. The elderly are especially prone to neglect, financial exploitation and emotional abuse.

While nursing homes should offer a safe haven for the elderly, abusive treatment can occur. Over the decades, nursing home staff throughout the U.S. have been accused of everything from sexually assaulting residents to sedating difficult patients with unnecessary drugs to neglecting patients to the point of dehydration and even death. With the rise of social media, some nursing home employees have been documented using Snapchat and Twitter to share explicit videos and images of their patients in embarrassing or abusive situations. As a result of recent investigations into these abuses, federal and state governments have moved to impose more restrictions on institutionalized elder care and to provide more support for at-risk seniors. The newly imposed rule allowing patients to sue nursing homes from negligence and abuse will shed further light on potential nursing home care infractions.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing Homes, Negligence, and Elderly Abuse

1 comment:

StandUp said...

Perhaps this is a big turn to even the playing field instead of giving nursing homes all the breaks.