The elder advocacy group, Families for Better Care, has worked to bring elder abuse and neglect into the national spotlight in an attempt to improve care for senior citizens. According to their ranking system, Alabama nursing homes have reported improvements over the past year, adding more direct care and professional nurse staffing. However, employing a higher number of nursing home staff is not a guarantee of quality care.
When an elderly person sustains a serious or life-threatening injury due to the intentional act of a caregiver, it is a class A felony, which can result in a prison sentence. A licensed practical nurse now faces that consequence after one of her patients at a Clanton nursing home spent several days in a hospital.
The patient was sent to the hospital after it was discovered that she had been given the wrong prescription. The patient was supposed to receive cough medicine but the nurse had given her a narcotic pain killer instead. A Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation revealed that the nurse also falsified a patient record instead of simply coming forward with what she had done. The delay in treatment placed the patient in more danger, and the deliberate nature of this act was what led authorities to charge the nurse with elder abuse and neglect.
State and federal laws protect nursing home residents from abuse caused by caregivers and acknowledges each person’s right to a reasonable standard of care. If you or your loved one has suffered elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home facility, an attorney may be able to help hold the responsible parties liable for the harm they have caused.
Source: Selma Times-Journal, “Maplesville nurse charged with neglecting nursing home patient,” Aug. 19, 2015