Audit Reveals Unreported Nursing Home Abuse
A California nursing home abuse lawyer at Evans Law Firm can provide help to older individuals who have been victimized by abuse and neglect. We know that the stakes are high because the consequences of abuse can be far-reaching and very damaging to older seniors. We provide assistance in holding abusers accountable by pursuing claims against those who’ve engaged in wrongful actions, and we also help seniors and their families take action against those who facilitated the abuse such as nursing homes.
Unfortunately, far too many seniors do not get to speak up about the abuse that they have endured. In fact, much of the abuse that occurs in nursing homes throughout the United State goes unreported by victims. Troublingly, even when seniors do manage to come forward and make reports of abuse, ABC 6 reports that an audit by the federal government reveals nursing homes often fail to notify proper authorities or keep accurate records – which puts even more older people in jeopardy of harm.
Unreported Abuse a Major Problem in Nursing Homes
According to 6 ABC, the federal government conducted an audit recently in order to determine whether nursing homes follow protocols for investigating and reporting neglect, injuries, and possible physical, financial, or sexual abuse affecting residents. The audit revealed many homes aren’t fulfilling reporting mandates.
In one incident, for example, a nursing home resident was left with a severe head wound and a broken neck. The nursing home where the incident occurred did not provide a report of this incident, which federal law requires, and four months after the event, the care facility was cited by the state Department of Health for failing to fulfill federal requirements.
In this particular case, investigators only knew that they should act because police conducted an investigation since the injured resident had mentioned to paramedics on his way to the hospital that he had been the victim of an attack. Had the police not been investigating the incident, the state health department might never have known that the incident occurred or submitted a proper report to the federal government.
A nursing home advocate in the state where this incident occurred also found that nursing home care facilities are falling short in their obligations to investigate and report abuse. Advocates researched a total of three years of complaints and found no reported violations for either sexual abuse or purposeful harm even though these types of abuse had undeniably occurred over the period of time when other records were reviewed.
If care facilities do not report abuse when required, then authorities are not able to conduct proper oversight in order to ensure that corrective measures are put in place when there are problems. Potential future nursing home residents also don’t receive accurate information about abuse incidents, which they need to find a safe and secure place to live.
Reporting abuse to appropriate authorities and taking legal action when it occurs is vital. Our California nursing home abuse lawyer can provide help. If you or your loved one has been abused, contact Evans Law Firm online or call 415-441-8669 for a free initial consultation today.