Instances of nursing home neglect and abuse increasing

In the United States, an estimated 1.5 million individuals currently reside in nursing homes. Many nursing home residents are elderly individuals who suffer from a variety of physical and mental ailments. Today, roughly 70 percent of these nursing home facilities are for-profit businesses, a fact that many contend is a major contributing factor to a rise in cases of nursing home neglect and abuse.

Many families do not have the means or resources to provide for the care and wellbeing of elderly relatives. For these families, nursing homes provide peace of mind that their loved ones will be well cared for and receive the medical assistance and attention they need.

An investigation by Bloomberg News, however, has found that many nursing home facilities are more focused on profits than residents. In a recent expose discussing problems associated with for-profit nursing homes and the level of resident care they provide, investigators cite numerous cases of nursing home neglect, abuse and fraud.

A major problem, investigators contend, is that many nursing home facilities are more concerned about making money than providing for the residents with whom they are entrusted to care. As a result, nursing homes are cutting costs and cases involving the neglect and abuse of nursing home residents have spiked across the nation and in states like Alabama.

Family members who suspect their loved one is being subjected to neglect or abuse at a nursing home facility would be wise to seek legal advice. Key indicators of neglect and abuse include bed sores, bruises and injuries, signs of malnutrition and an overall deterioration in a resident's physical and mental capacity.

Source: News Inferno, "For-profit nursing homes account for rise in abuse, neglect, waste, fraud," Joshua Sophy, Jan. 2, 2013

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