Baby Boomers. They set the social agenda for decades and now they are aging. Some are entering one of the nations’ 16,000 nursing homes, which are the final home for some 1.4 million residents.
As the elderly population is expected to double to 88 million by the year 2050, so will the number of nursing and assisted living facilities.
For those who need long-term care, such as those with complex medical needs – Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and other disabilities, some form of nursing home is the safest alternative.
If you are looking for the safest nursing home, check the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ProPublica to look
up problems with a particular facility as well as the Mississippi
Department of Health database.
Mississippi Nursing Homes Problems
In Mississippi, there are 208 nursing homes, according to ProPublica, and in 2019 there were 2,413 deficiencies reported. Of those, 29 had serious deficiencies which could include putting the resident in immediate harm.
The Mississippi Vulnerable Adults Act of 1986 oversees the health and welfare of nursing home residents. The Act defines abuse as “the willful or non-accidental infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish on a vulnerable adult.” It can also mean that the elder is deprived of services to keep him healthy or he is falsely imprisoned.
There are often signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Some are obvious. Some are not.
The obvious ones include malnutrition and dehydration, and even over or under medication. MRSA, an antibiotic resistant staph infection, and falls round out the more common injuries. In some cases, residents wander away from a facility and may not be found for some time.
What may be less obvious signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Sexual Abuse – As
difficult as it may be to fathom, some of our most valued members of society can
be put in a compromising position where they are coerced into a sexual
situation or preyed upon by a worker or even another resident. If there is some
degree of decline, it may make it especially difficult for the individual to
protest. The sexual abuse could be accompanied by physical and verbal abuse,
bruises, broken bones, and cuts. In some cases, workers have posted
dehumanizing photos on social media.
This is criminal activity and has led to some individuals being charged
and individual homes being cited by the federal government for deficiencies
related to resident’s privacy.
- Financial Exploitation – Family
members of loved ones should be mindful if there are any unauthorized
withdrawal of funds from her account. Also check to see if your loved one has
signed over power of attorney to someone who is not related or who has no
authority over the individual.
- Bed Sores – A bed sore occurs when a patient is not moved from a solitary position for some time. Also known as a pressure ulcer, bed sores are avoidable and treatable when identified early in their formation. Moving the body increases blood flow, without which the skin can begin to die and ultimately can become an open wound. Sepsis, a blood infection or a bone infection can result which is both life threatening and very serious.
Family members should contact the Mississippi Department of Human Services if they suspect a nursing home resident is being abused at 1-800-222-8000.
At the first sign of any abuse or neglect, please contact Reeves and Mestayer. While you have three years within which to file any wrongful death, negligence or personal injury claim under the state’s statute of limitations, evidence may disappear if you delay.
Your Mississippi Nursing Home Abuse Law firm
Mississippi allows a family to receive up to $500,000 for a successful medical malpractice claim and up to $1 million in noneconomic damages, that is, pain and suffering by a loved one.
In the case of extreme abuse or negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to send a message to a grossly negligent facility. The amount may be up to 2 percent of the defendant or nursing home company’s net worth, if that amounts to under $50 million.
In most cases, if you do not file your civil claim within the
three-year statute of limitations you will be barred from the civil courts.
Reeves and Mestayer offers you a free case evaluation at 855-558-2977 in our