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The Deep, Dark Secret of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Missouri And What You Can Do About It
Everyone has heard about the terrible things that can happen to elderly nursing home residents. Some residents suffer from bed sores that go all the way through their skin and muscle to the point where their bones are exposed. Others suffer multiple falls that result in broken bones or head injuries, which can lead to death. Those who are completely dependent upon nursing home employees to help them eat and drink simply don’t get the proper assistance and spend their days hungry and thirsty — often with no way to help themselves. Malnutrition and dehydration are common. Cries for help are often ignored for hours at a time. This is not an exaggeration; it is all true. Saddest of all is that many of these injuries can be easily prevented. Most nursing home neglect happens because of a monetary analysis where nursing home owners calculate the staffing level they need to reach a certain level of profitability rather than what is required to meet the needs of the residents. Most of the funding for nursing homes comes from tax dollars through Medicare and Medicaid. Far too many nursing homes game the system for their own profit. It is very complex, but it boils down to this; many nursing homes have figured out a way to make a significant profit off of virtually every resident, every single day without providing the level of care each resident requires. By holding the owners responsible for putting profits ahead of patient health, the Terry Law Firm hopes to stop other nursing home owners from taking the same path.
What can you do? If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be involved in their care. Remember, no one will care as much about your loved one as you, so don’t trust the nursing home staff when they tell you that they will care for them just like you would — it’s not true. Visit regularly and at different times. Don’t just accept what they tell you as fact, get proof. Politely but firmly insist on knowing what is happening to your family member. If you are looking for a nursing home for a loved one, start by going on a guided tour. Here are six tips to help when you visit a nursing home: 1. Pay attention to how the facility smells. Nursing homes that are short on staff usually do not smell good. 2. Look at whether the residents and the rooms are clean. Are the residents you see properly dressed in matching clothes? Has their hair been combed? Are they clean? If not, there are probably not enough staff members. And remember, poor hygiene breeds infection. potentially deadly issue for elderly nursing home residents, and cleanliness in the facility goes a long way to preventing some infections. Are the hand rails and floors sticky? Are the bedrails clean? Is there dried crust on the dining room tables? If so, do you really think they will keep your family member clean if they can’t even keep the facility clean? 3. Touch everything. Infection is a
5. Taste the food. Many nursing homes feed their residents on less than $5 per day, which makes it nearly impossible to provide appetizing, nutritious food. 6. Visit multiple times. Don’t let your guided tour be your last. You should make a second (and even third and fourth) unannounced visit to the facility. Walk the halls to see if anyone stops you. This will give you insight on the security level of the facility and you may also get a more realistic idea of their staffing levels if you arrive unannounced. My father was in a nursing home for several years. I understand the frustrations of people with loved ones in nursing homes. That is a key reason why I’ve spent the last 18 years pursuing justice for nursing home residents who suffer serious injuries or death as a result of unnecessary nursing home abuse or neglect. If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home neglect, we’re just a call away. Paul and I have worked on cases together in the past and would be happy to help. Please call Beck and Beck at (314) 961-5678 to discuss your loved one’s case today.
4. Listen and watch. Are staff members
answering call lights in a timely manner or are they ignoring call lights?
REFERRALS WELCOME Thank you for referring clients to us over the years. You will never be embarrassed by a referral to our office. We’re always available to lend a helping hand to anyone with any legal need. Just give us a call at (314) 961-5678 or visit us at: www.becklawmo.com .
-David W. Terry Terry Law Firm www.TerryLawOffice.com
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