Midwest reporters help in nursing home abuse case

As baby boomers get older, the number of individuals over the age of 65 in this country continues to grow. In fact, over the next three decades, the number of elderly individuals will increase to over 83 million. As a result of having more elderly individuals, the state of Pennsylvania and the rest of our country must be diligent in its regulation and monitoring of nursing homes to prevent nursing home abuse in the years to come.

Part of this monitoring process involves the efforts of news media and their investigations into suspected abuse. In a recent case that occurred in the Midwest, for example, a news agency discovered problems at a nursing home that was understaffed. Reporters received complaints from a resident of the facility and an employee, who both gave statements regarding the understaffing situation. The reporters informed the Department of Health about the issues, which spurred three inspections of the facility.

The inspectors discovered that the facility was indeed short-staffed. In spite of the Department of Health issuing infractions to the nursing facility, it continued to deny that it had failed in its duties to its residents. It blamed the complaints on disgruntled employees and a resident who was coerced by those employees to complain.

Regardless of how a nursing home responds to a complaint of nursing home abuse or neglect, injured victims of such abuse have the right to bring forward actions in civil court. Such a claim -- if successfully pursued in Pennsylvania -- could help a victim to obtain valuable compensation for medical care required to treat their injuries. Indeed, many nursing home residents do not have very much money at their disposal, and costly medical bills resulting from nursing home abuse could be difficult, if not impossible, for them to pay without pursuing such a claim.

Source: fox23.com, "FOX23 Nursing Home investigation prompts inspections", , July 17, 2014