An increasing elderly population has led to an increased nursing home population, and with this has come an increased incidence of nursing home negligence and abuse. Governmental agencies such as the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services help oversee the care and services provided by nursing homes and both federal and state governments have established uniform standards for nursing homes and ensure the protection and safety of patients.
Unfortunately, despite these governmental agencies, over one million nursing home residents are abused in some manner each year. Such actions can include negligence and active abuse. Whether the abuse consists of recurrent negligence or a single incident which causes injury, the victim has a right to damages. In most cases, the nursing home in question can lose its certification for failing to supply the expected care leading to a loss of federal funding.
Nursing home abuse can include physical damage from falls, malnutrition or dehydration, bed sores, gangrene, aspiration pneumonia, over-sedation, poor medical care, or wrong medication. Just as damaging but more subtle, are lack of supervision, theft, abandonment, defective equipment, sexual assault, coercion, physical or mental abuse. All of these can lead to injury or death of the nursing home patient.