Nursing home neglect and the law

General codes of ethics must apply to any workplace that takes responsibility of a human life. When that responsibility is lacking, a multitude of risks can ensue. Nursing homes in Alabama are required to follow general state laws, but the definitions of nursing home neglect vary depending on the state.

Around-the-clock care is a requirement in nursing homes, yet thousands of Americans have experienced abuse in such facilities. The Times Daily reports that elder abuse cases are hardly fading from the societal picture, focusing on a recent case of elder financial abuse in Alabama. The Times also provides the American Association of Retired Persons estimate that one in ten Americans age 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Local statistics show that in 2010 alone, there were 173 cases of elder abuse reported in Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties; that number increased to 543 in 2016.

Whether it is in the form of physical or emotional abuse or neglect, elder abuse is a significant issue in the country. Findlaw mentions some of the most common types of nursing home neglect, which can include failure to provide adequate food, appropriate clothing and shelter, bathing services and timely medical care. And while it is illegal to neglect or abuse patients in any way, Findlaw also points out that some violations are not always considered criminal. However, those participating in Medicare and Medicaid are subject to the Nursing Home Reform Act. This law requires nursing homes to contain basic necessities and appropriate patient supervision, among many other patient needs.    

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