With an aging population, the need to protect and care for our elderly citizens is paramount. In Alabama and throughout the country, however, too many reports of nursing home abuse or neglect are frequently heard. These can range from a fall that should have been prevented, untreated bedsores, failure to provide a reasonable standard of care and more. Personal injury and even death can result, leaving victims and family members in anguish.
A recent news story from New York is yet another example of this type of situation. A whistle blower alerted local authorities about the alleged negligent death of a 72-year old patient at a nursing home in Long Island. An investigation was launched and a total of nine employees have since been arrested in conjunction with the incident. The arrests include two administrators who are reported to have led a cover-up to prevent knowledge of the incident.
The patient was at the facility following a hospital stay for a breathing problem and a ventilator was ordered to be used. The nurse on duty did not, however, read or follow that order. The elderly woman died after suffocating for two hours without the ventilator. Multiple visual and audial alarms were reported to have been going off but no staff members responded to them. The family was originally told their loved one died from a heart attack. The article did not indicate whether or not a civil lawsuit has been filed.
Stories like these can make anyone concerned for the safety of their elderly family members. If you suspect elder abuse, you could talk to an attorney to learn how best to help the situation or to receive appropriate compensation.
Source: abclocal.go.com, "Arrests in Long Island nursing home death," February 11, 2014