‘Cloak of Privacy’ Keeps Nursing Home Abuse Under the Radar

Most Nursing Homes Do Not Report or Investigate Elder Abuse Incidents Properly

Nursing Home Insiders Rarely Report Nursing Home Abuse… And That Needs to Change

A recent CBC News investigation revealed 12 allegations of physical and verbal nursing home abuse in New Brunswick facilities in 2015. In the aftermath, investigations were performed with details noted. However, when these investigations were subsequently requested, nursing home staff heavily redacted the investigation, rendering it unreadable. Government agencies were also kept in the dark on the amount of incidents and severity of the abuse.

“By not keeping the statistics in an organized fashion, government itself doesn’t know . . .
Well, if they don’t know, how am I supposed to know as the seniors advocate?”
– Senior Advocate Norm Bossé.

Allegations of the Previously Unreported Abuse Include

  1. Nursing home bedsores
  2. Resident falls
  3. Unexplained fractures
  4. Medication mistakes
  5. Screaming at residents
  6. Physical aggression
  7. Elder exploitation and theft

Changing the Culture Inside American Nursing Homes to Encourage Reporting Abuse and Neglect

Nurses, aides and staff are often afraid to blow the whistle on a colleague. Most have small incomes and need the job to survive. Even worse, once an employee gets a reputation as a ‘snitch’, he or she will find it harder to get jobs at nearby facilities, since managers are usually in contact with other facility managers.

So how can we encourage concerned caretakers to voice their complaints?

  • Allow for anonymous reporting. In Florida, we have 1-800-96-Abuse which allows you to remain anonymous.
  • Incentivize reporting by offering nursing home whistleblower settlements.
  • Foster closer relationships between lower level staff and state regulators and investigators.
    • Too often, state surveyors form bonds with upper management. Lower level aides see this and are apprehensive to speak to authorities.
  • For repetitively negligent nursing homes, financially fine them substantial amounts. And this means more than just $1,000. This makes nursing home abuse and neglect a bad business decision for corporate owners who are focused on spreadsheets and not on resident complaints.
  • Similarly, reward good nursing homes with tax incentives or waived regulatory fees. Make doing the right thing good for business.

Nursing home abuse statistics show an alarming rise in incidents of injury and wrongful death.

Are You a Nursing Home Nurse Looking to Report Abuse in Your Facility?

This is a noble undertaking. Click the following link to learn how to report nursing home abuse in your area.

If your loved one was wrongfully injured inside a facility, call our nursing home abuse lawyers today for a free case consultation.

 

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