When we entrust the care of our aging family members to a nursing home, we assume that our loved ones will be cared for with compassion and dignity. Unfortunately, this is not always true, and Tennessee nursing home abuse reflects the statistics seen throughout the United States.
As middle Tennessee nursing home abuse lawyers, we never cease to be sickened by the statistics. In a 2004 Center for Disease Control (CDC) report, there were 16,100 U.S. nursing homes with a total of 1.7 million beds, 1.5 million residents and an occupancy rate of 86 percent. The average resident at that time had lived in the facility for 835 days, and a shocking number of these people were abused.
In February 2009, CBS News reported on a nationwide nursing home abuse increase. The report, based on a Congressional study, contained the following statistics:
- 5,283 of U.S. nursing homes received abuse citations
- There were 9,000 total violations from January 1999 to January 2001
- 40% were reported only after residents, families, or advocates reported them
The report told the story of Sacramento nursing home resident Helen Love, who was attacked by a certified nurse’s assistant, angered that she had soiled herself. She toldCBS News that, “He choked me and broke my neck and broke my wrist.” She died two days after the interview. Instances like this justifiably anger us and prompt us to take action against the offending facilities.
Here are some more sad numbers, provided by the Masters in Healthcare website, that illustrate just how bad nursing abuse can be:
- Over 30% of nursing homes are guilty of some kind of abuse, whether it be psychological, physical, malnutrition, neglect or sexual.
- Of 5,000 nursing home deaths in 2005, 5,000 death certificates were red flagged for suspected abuse.
- Resident aggression can be a major danger to nursing home residents. In one study, there were 30 incidents of aggressive behavior between residents in one eight-hour shift.
- Abuse cases are rarely reported; only about 20% are estimated to be reported.
- Over 50% of nursing home residents do not have a close relative to look out for them.
- Up to 90% of nursing homes do not have enough staff to provide adequate care for the residents. In some facilities, the nursing to resident ratio can go as high as 1:30. Recommended ratios are 1:3 at meals and 1:6 at other times.
Abuse in any form is unacceptable. When we entrust our loved ones to a nursing facility, they deserve the very best care, yet statistics show that this does not always happen.
The middle Tennessee nursing home abuse lawyers at Bailey & Greer will fight this despicable behavior with every legal option we know. If you suspect abuse, we urge you to report it immediately. And if your loved one has suffered this crime, we ask that you call us right away toll-free at 901-680-9777.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
Read more about Thomas R. Greer