Corporations Running Nursing Homes for Profit: Big Problem
According to federal data, in 2012 there were 775 nursing homes in Illinois and 515 nursing homes in Indiana – and those numbers are expected to rise in large measure as the Baby Boomers continue to enter their elder years. Nursing homes are often a necessity for those who are in need of personalized care after suffering severe injuries to their brain or spine, as well. There’s more: this number doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of other types of assisted-living facilities that operate in our area.
Loved ones and family members expect that the people responsible for taking care of nursing home residents are going to do so with expertise and compassion. However, all too often there have been corporate profit-making goals that have interfered or blocked with care resulting in patients becoming the victims of abuse or neglect.
This has become a national scandal in many ways.
In California, the Sacramento Bee has recently published an expose of nursing home ownership in that state. This took, some doing because the corporate owners of nursing homes and nursing home chains aren’t exactly advertising how many nursing home and care facilities are owned by how few companies.
From their expose, “Nursing homes cloak ownership for good reason,” the public is becoming aware of something called “multilayered ownership structure,” which the nursing home industry considers to be smart business because if they are faced by a victim’s personal injury lawsuit against a specific facility, their corporate web of ownership is structured to protect the big parent company (and its big pockets) from financial liability in that claim.
Meanwhile, the reality is that the profit motive is curbing the level of care in many facilities and more and more nursing care residents are being victimized as a result. Families and loved ones must work hard not only to make sure that their loved one is protected, but also to fight for what is right if they discover that there has been wrongdoing. Lawsuits against nursing homes are being filed all over the country.
What Suggests Abuse or Neglect of a Nursing Home Resident? Look for These Signs
According to the CDC, signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- welts, wounds, and injuries (e.g., bruises, lacerations, dental problems, head injuries, broken bones, pressure sores);
- persistent physical pain and soreness;
- nutrition and hydration issues;
- sleep disturbances;
- increased susceptibility to new illnesses (including sexually transmitted diseases);
- exacerbation of preexisting health conditions; and
- increased risks for premature death.
- increased risks for developing fear/anxiety reactions,
- learned helplessness, and
- post traumatic stress syndrome.
It’s Important to Take Action Against Abuse and Neglect in Our Nursing Homes
If you or a loved one suspect that a nursing home has victimized a resident, then please take action. Call the state agencies that oversee these things and complain. Additionally, seek the guidance of an experienced injury law firm on rights and remedies and how best to take action to protect that resident and to seek justice on their behalf.