Alarming numbers reported in elder abuse

Citizens in Alabama and throughout the nation are increasingly aware of and concerned about the level of safety and appropriate care in nursing homes. Nursing home abuse has become an all-too common news topic with horror stories abounding, many of which result in serious personal injury of even death of residents.

One southern neighbor state, Texas, was the subject of a recent news article on the topic of elder abuse. A 2011 state audit there revealed that 372 care facilities were recommended to have their Medicaid contracts terminated due to serious violations but only one such contract was actually ended. One Dallas-area nursing home in which at least one resident has died due to nursing home abuse has received more than $8 million from Medicaid since 2010.

According to the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), the rate of reported deficiencies in nursing home care in the state increased from 2011 to 2012 by nearly 900 cases. Of those, the number classified as serious increased by 35 percent in that year. A violation is considered serious if the resident is put in imminent danger. Many nursing home or assisted living facilities are allowed to continue state contracts despite such offenses.

Texas is not alone in such situations and Alabama residents with loved ones in care facilities should be ever watchful for their safety. A fall can lead to a head injury, broken bones and more and should be warning signs to you. If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse of any sort, you can consider discussing the situation with an attorney to learn how best to proceed.

Source: ABC, “Nursing home abuse and neglect on the rise in Texas,” Andy Pierotti and Derek Rasor, November 7, 2013   

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