Nursing Home Abuse Can Occur Through Chemical Restraint

According to a report recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, 14% of the 2.1 million elderly nursing home patients, during the first 6 months of 2007, were being prescribed at least one atypical anti-psychotic drug. It was found that over half of that 14% were prescribed the drugs for dementia alone. The anti-psychotics, including Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Risperadal, have NOT been approved for use in the treatment of dementia. In fact, the FDA has indicated that not only do these drugs offer no benefits to dementia patients, they actually can cause life threatening side effects. This undoubtedly a form of nursing home abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse via Chemical Restraint Is an Easy Form of Control

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers Chemical RestraintIt seems that the drugs are being used as chemical restraints; a way to sedate patients so that they require less attention. As an added “bonus,” the home can end up making a large profit from this practice. Due to medicaid reimbursements, the home is making money on every patient they wrongfully sedate with anti-psychotic drugs.

Nursing homes get paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones. Most of the time, they drain your loved one of all of their resources, perhaps even some of yours, and then continue to collect insurance payments. These costs should afford our elderly and sick population good, dedicated, and attentive care. The misuse of anti-psychotic drugs to restrain patients is depraved. Safeguards need to be put into place to make sure that such prescription drug abuse is not occurring.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help

If your loved one is being given atypical anti-psychotic drugs to “help with dementia“, you are witnessing nursing home abuse or neglect. You should discuss this issue with the staff at the nursing home and, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the responses you are receiving, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Our lawyers are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of nursing home abuse in long term care facilities throughout the nation.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Can Begin With New Hires

Nursing home abuse can begin as early as the hiring process. Not all states require background checks for those applying for jobs in nursing homes, and for that reason, people with criminal convictions do not have a hard time gaining employment at a nursing home or similar care facility. People with a history of assault, criminal negligence, or theft would be high risks as employees in a nursing home.

Overwhelming Frequency of Nursing Home Employees with Criminal Convictions

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers hiring employees criminal convictionAccording to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 90 percent of nursing homes in this country hire employees with criminal convictions, a huge problem in the fight against nursing home neglect. The report looked at the employees of 260 nursing homes employed on June 9, 2009 and found that 92 percent of the facilities had hired at least one employee with a criminal conviction. In fact, nearly half of the nursing homes had 5 or more employees with criminal convictions ranging from burglary to sex offenses. Forty-three states require background checks but only 10 states require both a state and FBI background check. This is necessary to find convictions in multiple states and under different names. New Jersey and Pennsylvania only require the statewide check.

This type of disregard in the hiring process leads to the hiring of inadequate and often dangerous employees in nursing homes across the country. These are often the people that are in charge of the daily needs of one of our most vulnerable populations. Do we expect a sex offender or other convicted criminal left in charge of the care of multiple patients to handle bed sores, accidents and other safety issues properly? Nursing homes are paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones, but they often hire employees that have shown a clear disregard for the rules of society. Bed sores and pressure ulcers, accidents, and other abuses such as restraints, lack of proper nutrition, and over or under-medicating are all issues in many nursing homes. Without a proper background check into possible nursing home hires, we are allowing dangerous people to care for our loved ones.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

It is important that you are a frequent and attentive visitor in order to protect your loved one from neglect and abuse, especially when the nursing home is hiring convicted criminals and charging them with your loved one’s care. Lawmakers need to pass bills to make the background checks mandatory nationwide so that the vulnerable patients are protected.
If you believe your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other long term care facility, please contact the Mininno Law Office for free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Clear Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

As nursing home abuse lawyers, we have previously posted educational tips about the prevention and treatment of bed sores. Today we wanted to inform readers of some additional forms of nursing home abuse that often occur. Just as with bed sore prevention, there are signs that can be observed that indicate nursing home abuse.

Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

One type of nursing home abuse that has outward signs is physical abuse. Physical abuse is occuring if bodily injury or pain results from the excessive application of physical force. The abuse can be, but is not limited to: hitting, pushing, shoving, pinching, burning, or even beating. Inappropriate use of restraints is another form of physical abuse. In fact, the use of restraints over long periods of time is not only physically abusive, but can also lead to the development of bed sores and pressure ulcers. The over use of medications, usually sedatives, and force feeding can also be considered physical abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse Red Flags

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers list sings abuseIt is important that nursing home staff be fully trained in how to deal with the special needs of nursing home patients so that physical abuse does not occur. It is also important that a patient’s family be aware of the signs of abuse. Some of the more obvious signs are bruising, cuts, unexplained marks, broken bones, and a variety of injuries in various stages of healing. It is also important to listen to the patient. A resident’s report of violent behavior, such as being hit or mistreated, must be investigated. Sometimes, a nursing home patient’s sudden change in behavior can be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect and should absolutely be investigated. Any drastic changes with no explanation must be looked into.

Sometimes, nursing home staff will actually try to hide signs of abuse by refusing access to the patient by visitors. This can cause residents to not only suffer from isolation, but also become fearful of discussing the abuse or neglect with a family member or supervisor. Any refusal by nursing home staff to allow visitor access should raise immediate red flags that are probed with the utmost scrutiny. As in all cases of nursing home abuse, the sooner it is discovered, the sooner the treatment and prevention of further abuse can take place. It is imperative to watch for the signs of physical abuse, especially in those nursing home patients that are unable to protect themselves.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in NJ and PA

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility, and you believe they are receiving inadequate and negligent care, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the team at the Mininno Law Office work to earn you the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.