Placing a loved one into a nursing home is a challenging decision. Prior to doing so, it’s likely you’ll consult with your loved one, their doctor, and government resources to determine which facility is right for them. Unfortunately, problems can happen even in a facility that seems perfect.
If your loved one has suffered injuries due to negligence from a staff member in their long-term care home, you can take legal action on their behalf to hold the at-fault party accountable and seek compensation for related losses like medical bills.
While you’re dealing with a claim, you’re probably wondering why nursing home abuse happens in the first place. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we have extensive experience investigating instances of nursing home abuse. Through our experience, we’ve been able to pinpoint some of the origins of abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Incidents in West Virginia
While West Virginia ranks in the top ten states for elder abuse protection, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Nursing Home quality rating site indicates that most family members are dissatisfied or indifferent when it comes to the care their loved ones receive in their nursing homes. In fact, of the 123 nursing homes in the state, 35 are rated below average and 21 are considered much below average.
Of the nursing home facilities receiving poor reviews, complaints revolved around physical abuse, resident-to-resident abuse, emotional trauma, gross neglect, and financial exploitation. Currently, one of the poorest ranking nursing homes in West Virginia is Crestview Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation in Jane Lew. This facility has been cited for abuse and has received poor reviews for health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.
If your loved one is currently housed in a nursing home that has received poor ratings or reviews, it’s important to ensure they are receiving the care they need. If they are being abused or neglected, they need to be removed from the situation as quickly as possible and an official complaint should be filed with the facility.
Nursing Home Mismanagement
A high-quality nursing home puts its residents first. This means management is on top of facility issues and ensures residents and staff have access to the resources they need. Unfortunately, mismanagement is one of the reasons nursing home abuse happens.
Regardless of whether a nursing home is independently owned or owned on a corporate level, too many decisions are made with a focus on profits as opposed to care. It’s more common for nursing homes to be for-profit. Because of this, negligent facilities could overcharge residents for care or outsource care to a cheaper company in order to save money. When financial status is more important to the owners of a nursing home than providing high-quality care, residents are bound to suffer.
Additionally, when a facility isn’t managed properly, residents may not have access to basic amenities like toiletry items and bedding. In addition to that, management may neglect to complete necessary repairs, which could result in preventable falls or a lack of proper equipment.
Long-Term Care Facility Staffing Issues
In addition to nursing homes being mismanaged, the majority of facilities experience staffing issues related to understaffing, inadequate training, and low wages. When nurses and other staff members are overworked, underpaid, or do not have access to what they need to do their job, they may take their frustrations out on residents.
When a nursing home is understaffed, those who work there may be unable to provide every resident with timely care or they could make a mistake. In addition to that, understaffing leads to increased burnout and tension. Given the stressful nature of long-term care facilities, it’s important for staff members to have opportunities for self-care—something that’s challenging to get with understaffing.
Understaffing often results in nursing homes experiencing high staff turnover rates. As a result, they have to hire people quickly. This means that not everyone on the team receives proper training. In the event of a medical emergency, workers may not have the skills or knowledge they need to take proper actions.
As discussed above, some nursing homes are more focused on retaining and growing profits. When this is the case, employees are often underpaid. This contributes to increased frustration—especially when workers feel undervalued.
Protect Your Loved Ones with DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse in their nursing home, it’s imperative to remove them from the dangerous environment as soon as possible. Once your loved one is safe, you can focus on taking legal action against the facility that caused them harm.
While filing a nursing home abuse claim is challenging, the right legal representation can make all the difference. Our lawyers have handled a number of nursing home abuse cases, so we understand the tactics and resources needed to achieve success for our clients. If you’re ready to take action on behalf of your loved one, contact us for more information.