Federal Study of Nursing Homes Reveal Elder Abuse Violations

elderly abuseAccording to a recent report provided by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, many nursing homes are suspected of having serious safety and health violations for their patients.

While the study was conducted on St. Louis nursing homes, the results are believed to be indicative of the safety of nursing homes throughout the country. A similar report by the National Center on Elder Abuse reports that approximately one-third of nursing home residents are the victims of abuse or neglect.

A non-profit investigative journalism group named ProPublica made the information public on an online database through the Freedom of Information Act. This organization investigates when allegations are made against different types of organizations.

According to information in the report, eight nursing homes in St. Louis were found to be the location of elder abuse or neglect. These nursing homes were fined over $67,000 due to the safety and health infractions. These most recent findings add to the 513 nursing home facilities in Missouri that have been fined since 2009 for similar infractions, for a sum in excess of $675,000.

The report uncovered several unsettling findings.

  • One or more facilities used lockdown as a form of punishment on nursing home patients.
  • One patient suffered with chest pain for longer than 12 hours before a doctor was contacted and then died in his hospital emergency room.
  • A patient who suffered from dementia escaped supervision and went missing for 24 hours. The patient was later found dead in a nearby creek due to drowning.
  • One patient received five times more medication than he or she was supposed to receive.
  • Two nursing home patients died after having fevers of at least 104 degrees and no emergency calls were made for medical assistance for these patients.
  • Six residents were sexually abused at one particular nursing home even though other patients had made complaints that should have provided ample warning to management.

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Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect occurs throughout every major area in the country, including Florida.

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