Office of Inspector General Issues Early Alert Regarding Abuse and Neglect of Nursing Home Residents
On August 24, the Office of Inspector General issued an early alert based on preliminary findings from an ongoing review of elder abuse throughout the country. According to the memorandum, a significant percentage of incidents involving abuse or neglect in skilled nursing facilities were not reported to law enforcement, despite federal and local requirements.
Under federal law, owners, operators, employees, managers, agents, or contractors of long-term care facilities that received at least $10,000 in federal funding must immediately report any reasonable suspicion of a crime committed against a resident of a facility.
Loved Ones Are Often the First Line of Defense
The preliminary results of this review seem to confirm that the decades-old trend of underreporting nursing home abuse and neglect is still alive and well. For this reason, it is critical that people who visit their relatives and loved ones in nursing homes pay attention to signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, and also understand that this kind of mistreatment can be emotional and psychological just as much as it can be physical. Some warning signs of elder neglect and abuse include :
Lack of interest in activities
Withdrawal from social activities
Unexplained weight loss
A fear of being touched
A Lawyer Can Often Help Victims Recover Compensation
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, you should contact an attorney immediately. While the law imposes civil penalties on facilities that violate these laws (as well as potential exclusion from participation in federal health care programs), this does little to ensure that victims of abuse and neglect are compensated for their suffering.
If your loved one was the victim of abuse or neglect, an attorney can help identify the at-fault party and ensure that your loved one obtains the compensation to which she is entitled. These kinds of claims are often settled out of court, and victims can have a difficult time assigning a dollar value to their pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. For this reason, settling without an attorney can result in accepting an offer that is far less than a victim deserves. For this reason, it is highly advisable for anyone considering making a claim based on nursing home neglect or abuse to retain an attorney as soon as possible.
Were You or a Loved One a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect? Call Polito & Harrington Today
Nursing home abuse and neglect is pervasive and continues to affect thousands of people each year. Fortunately, victims can often obtain significant compensation for their injuries by filing a claim against the nursing home that allowed the abuse and neglect to occur. To schedule a free consultation with one of our New London nursing home abuse lawyers, call Polito & Harrington today at (860) 447-3300 or send us an email through our online contact form.