During July 2015, ABC News revealed the results of a nursing home abuse report conducted by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee between January 1999 and January 2001.
The report found that nursing home abuse occurs in one out of three facilities. This is startling for America’s aging population and the family members seeking to care for them. Currently, there are 1.6 million Americans residing in 17,000 nursing homes nationwide-and this number is expected to rise, according to ABC.
Family members can combat serious injuries and death due to nursing home abuse by watching for signs of neglect. Signs of nursing home abuse include:
- malnutrition or dehydration
- inadequate sanitation and hygiene
- preventable accidents
According to a similar report, the above examples of neglect were found in 70% of 59 Pennsylvania nursing homes.
Nursing home resident rights include:
- The right to privacy, dignity, and respect
- The right to be informed about one’s medical condition
- The right to participate in care plan
- The right to choose one’s own doctor
- The right to manage one’s own finances
- The right to be free from abuse and restraints
- The right to be discharged or transferred only for specific reasons
- The right to have or refuse visitors
- The right to be informed of one’s rights and policies of the nursing home
- The right to be informed about nursing home services and charges
- The right to voice grievance without fear of retaliation
Residents and their family members have the right to consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer and if they suspect abuse or a violation of resident’s rights.