Nursing homes are put in a position of great trust. Families make tough choices of putting an elderly family member into a nursing home, because an elderly father, mother, brother or sister require more care than other family members can give. The trust placed in a nursing home is compounded by the high cost necessary to pay for nursing home care.
Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Families who have an elderly family member in a nursing home in Kentucky need to be vigilant of the care received. News reports from this year have reported an alarmingly high incidence of nursing home abuse and neglect in Kentucky. A report by ProPublica, “Finding Nursing Home Problems in Your State,” indicated that Kentucky has the highest rate of nursing home deficiencies in the nation. When ProPublica divided the number of serious nursing home deficiencies by the number of Medicare-approved nursing homes in the state, Kentucky had 1.6 deficiencies per nursing home. Out of the top 20 nursing homes across the nation with the highest number of serious deficiencies, Kentucky had six nursing homes with a high number of serious deficiencies.
Also, the same report by ProPublica indicated that, out of the top 20 nursing homes in the United States with the most fines, Kentucky had five nursing homes listed with high fines. In the report by ProPublica, the report stated that the average fine issued against Kentucky nursing homes was $84,800. (The “average fine” is calculated by dividing total amount of fines issued to Kentucky nursing homes by number of fines issued in the last three years). The $84,800 average made fines against Kentucky nursing homes the third highest in the nation. Lexington Herald-Leader reported that, in 2015, one of the Kentucky nursing homes was issued the highest nursing home fine in the nation at $891,350. Medicare issued a report explaining why this fine was levied against the nursing home. Medicare classified the level of harm by the nursing home as “immediate jeopardy” to some of the residents.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The federal agency, Administration for Community Living, listed warning signs indicating nursing home abuse. They include:
- bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns indicating physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment,
- unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression indicating emotional abuse,
- bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse,
- bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss may indicate neglect,
- strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s office also issued a report, “How to Protect Nursing Home Residents”. This report noted that signs of nursing home neglect or abuse are:
- unexplained fear, shame or embarrassment,
- fear towards a nursing home caregiver(s),
- increased agitation or anxiety,
- weight loss,
- poor hygiene,
- odor of urine or feces,
- inappropriate clothing (in relation to season or temperature in the resident’s room).
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If your loved one has been subject to nursing home neglect and/or abuse, contact D. Tyler Roberts and his law firm, Roberts Law Office, PLLC, (located at 209 E. High Street, Lexington, KY 40507). The Roberts Law Office has experience handling nursing home neglect and abuse and can help provide your loved one compensation due to injuries, pain, and suffering. If you are in an accident, you can contact Roberts Law Firm by phone at (859) 231-0202 or submit your contact information and description of the accident at the law firm’s contact page.