Abuse by Nursing Homes in West Virginia Is on the Rise

by | Aug 23, 2017 | Health Featured

Nursing home abuse presents a big problem throughout the United States. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, only 15% of all people experiencing some kind of physical abuse report abuse each year. That’s because many people neglect or don’t want to talk about physical abuse. However, some victims of abuse don’t know at all that they are cheated and abused. This is the case with elderlies accommodated in the nursing homes in West Virginia.

There is something rotten inside the West Virginia nursing homes

There are more than 15,600 nursing homes on the territory of United States of America. Some of those nursing homes do not provide appropriate care and keep their promises. Even worse, there are also those which employees abuse or neglect the residents in their institutions. Every year, thousands of residents in the nursing homes throughout the U. S. are hurt because of the guilt of employees working there.

It’s hard to get to national data referring to cases of abuse in elder-care programs and America‚Äôs nursing homes. Yet, we can get some important information and statistics through studies by advocacy groups and government investigators. In addition, there are also a lot of chilling implications by the news media. Let’s see some of them.

A research study conducted by UCSF (The University of California, San Francisco) was tracking abuse inside the nursing homes in West Virginia during 2008. The results of this study are shocking. This research found that more than 40% of nursing homes in West Virginia didn’t provide a safe environment to their users. About 54% of nursing homes in this eastern US state has had serious problems with food sanitation. Apart from that, they didn’t develop complete care plans and maintain adequate care.

Statistics revealed that residents in nearly 20% of West Virginia nursing homes are at a high risk for getting bedsores.

Things are not much better in other US states either. A study of employees in the nursing homes throughout the country revealed that 36% of all staff witnessed an incident of physical injury or abuse of a patient in 2016. 10% of employees committed physical abuse, while 40 percent of them committed a psychological abuse.

About 1.4 million elders inhabit in the nursing homes across the United States. It’s expected that the number of people above 65 years of age is going to double from 2017 to 2050. That means the cases of abuse in West Virginia nursing homes are quite likely to be on the rise in the coming years.

How to recognize the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse?

Abuse by West Virginia nursing homes encompasses a broad range of situations, including financial, emotional, mental, physical, or even sexual abuse. Besides the physical injuries, elders in nursing homes also experience mistreatment and neglect. All of this leaves the consequences to aging persons and influence the quality of their life as well.

It’s good to identify the early signs of abuse by a nursing home if you have a loved one in such an institution. Below, you may familiarize yourself with some of the most common signs of abuse.

  • Anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness
  • Frequent crying
  • Emotional distress
  • Refusal to speak and/or eat
  • Desire to get isolated from friends and family members
  • Nursing home staff don’t let the person be alone with his/her family members and friends
  • Physical injuries like scars, scratches, or welts
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Unexplained dislocations, broken bones, or sprains
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Denial victimization
  • Frequent infections
  • Bed sores
  • Unusual malnourishment, weight loss, or dehydration
  • Symptoms of medication-related seizures, drug overdose or irregular medication intake
  • Signs of poor hygiene such as soiled bedding
  • Stained or torn clothing
  • Sudden loss of personal items or unforeseen changes of financial situation
  • Complaints of poor or inappropriate treatment

Where and how to report abuse or neglect of in West Virginia

It is very important to prevent or stop further nursing home abuse. That said, you need to act quickly and report any suspicious sign of abuse. But many people don’t know how and where to report a situation of nursing home abuse. Here’s what you need to do.

If you or someone else was injured because of an abusive or negligent or nursing home, you need to act as soon as possible. Make sure to do it as soon as possible, preferably within 72 hours of the instance of abuse or neglect. That involves an initial verbal and then a written report. Also, you need to keep all the copies of received written response. This way, you will protect your or someone else’s rights and preserve evidence, too.

The victims of abuse, actually their family members, should report abuse or neglect to the United States Department of Health and Human Resources. Aside from calling Adult Protective Services hotline (at 800 352-6513), you may directly contact and visit the Health Department at a county level. Go in person to the Local County Office Directory in the country you are living in, i.e., where the nursing home suspected for elder mistreatment is located. Otherwise, you can file a written report with Adult Protective Services agency in West Virginia.

If you wanna speed up the procedure and get the most out of your report, you should keep on and contact a local attorney with an extensive experience in this field. Looking for a lawyer in West Virginia? Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC is one of the West Virginia personal injury lawyers who can help you with nursing home abuse among others.

Don’t let your loved one be the victim of abuse! But what to do if you suspect or have any clue that you, your family member, or someone else is abused inside a West Virginia nursing home? Your best choice is to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer and report the case of abuse. Speak up and fight for your rights instead of keeping quiet. Along with more stringent laws and regulations in the future, that will reduce nursing home abuse and neglect!

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