Elderly people around the country, including Pennsylvania, often have health problems that require constant care so that they can live out their lives in some comfort. The demands of providing such care are often so high that families cannot look after elderly relatives and must instead depend on the services of nursing homes. Sadly, some nursing homes violate that trust in disturbing ways.
Authorities in a state that borders Pennsylvania recently arrested seven employees of a nursing home following the death of an elderly patient. According to that state's attorney general's office, a nurse was arrested after she reportedly failed to connect the 72-year-old victim to a physician-ordered ventilator. The woman was later found dead.
Four other nurses face similar criminal charges in connection with the resident's death. Two administrators were also arrested for allegedly hiding the incident from state authorities by losing records related to the victim's death.
This is not the first problem for the nursing home. Since 2003, 17 employees have been convicted for abuse and falsification of records. The owners of the facility have also been accused of corrupt practices, including pocketing millions in Medicaid funds that could have improved the quality of care. The home also allegedly failed to report 4,000 accidents and injuries to state officials. The facility has been cited for 130 violations.
The owners of the nursing home now face civil lawsuits because of neglect.
Anyone entrusting the life of an elderly relative to a nursing home expects that employees will look after their loved one with appropriate care. Any neglect or abuse that results in a resident's deterioration in health or sudden death is a violation of trust. Fortunately, the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can file a personal injury lawsuit, and family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit if their relative dies.
Source: Long Island Press, "AG: Medford nursing home neglect led to resident's death," Rashed Mian, Feb. 12, 2014