Elder Abuse of Hospital Patients
When you think of nursing home residents, you likely think of elderly individuals who can no longer live on their own and give up their residence to live in a specialized nursing facility. However, nursing homes can be used for a variety of patients – not just geriatric residents. For example, when some people are discharged from a hospital, they still may require medical care, supervision, and assistance but may not need the costly care provided in a hospital. For this reason, many patients are discharged and are referred to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Hospital patients and their families may not be familiar with the options for nursing homes, so they largely depend on the recommendations from the hospital itself. Patients may understandably expect that they will be referred to a facility with a high quality of care. Unfortunately, according to a report by Kaiser Health News,1 many hospital patients are discharged to low-rated nursing homes that have a history of neglect or abuse.
Hospital Accountability for Nursing Home Abuse
Hospital officials often say nothing about past allegations of nursing home abuse or neglect at certain facilities when patients are making their decisions. Many of these nursing homes have affiliations with the hospital itself, so the patients naturally expect them to provide a high level of care. Patients are not given government ratings or other important information regarding these facilities that may change their decision when selecting the right facility for the rest of their recovery.
You may expect that substandard nursing homes would earn such a reputation and that would deter residents, ultimately causing the nursing home to shut its doors. However, many low-rated nursing homes remain in operation because they are filled with patients that are funneled in from the hospital. These patients have no expectation that their treatment – or lack thereof – may cause further health complications.
An Example of Mistreatment after a Hospital Discharge
One story highlighted in the Kaiser Health News report involves an 88-year-old woman who needed additional assistance while she recovered from a hip replacement surgery. At the top of the hospital’s list of recommended facilities was the one associated with the medical center. Neither she nor her daughter was informed that the government quality rating was only one star – the worst possible. This low rating was reportedly due to the following and more:
- Not responding to calls for help from patients in a timely manner
- Ignoring claims of pain from patients and not providing proper pain management
- Disrespectful actions toward patients
At the facility, the patient reportedly became nauseous and her abdomen swelled significantly. She tragically died from an obstructed bowel that had not been properly addressed by the nursing home staff.
The above information demonstrated the importance of carefully researching and choosing a nursing home facility, even if a hospital gives you recommendations. If you believe any mistreatment is occurring, you should report is immediately and arrange for a transfer as soon as possible.
Contact a New Port Richey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for a Free Consultation
At the Dolman Law Group, we aggressively protect the rights of anyone who has been injured by a nursing home or has wrongfully died due to abuse or neglect. We have represented people injured at Brookdale Senior Living homes and many other facilities. If you believe you would like to bring a claim against a nursing home, please call us at (727) 853-6275 to discuss your rights with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652