Issues on elderly homes have been rising in the past decade. One of the most prominent issues was the death of eight people in their sweltering room in a nursing home in South Florida after Hurricane Irma. The incident was described as “unfathomable” by Gov. Rick Scott.
In a more recent case, Hussein Younes, a Lebanese immigrant, is filing a complaint against Autumnwood of Livonia. His family hid a camera in his room, and in the footage, they saw that Mr. Younes was being denied water, was violently shaken by a caretaker, and had his call button taken away by a caretaker.
According to Autumnwood of Livonia, the caretaker has been terminated. Their lawyers also stated that they’re unable to substantiate the allegations. However, there have been 119 clips collected that documented the abuse of Mr. Younes.
Moreover, almost 10% of people who are 60 years old and older have experienced different forms of abuse. Many of these incidents, regardless of if it occurred in senior nursing home facilities or their homes, go unreported.
These are just some of the issues that our elderly faces every day in different nursing facilities. One of the primary causes for these rising issues is that care and management facilities for elderly and the vulnerable are handled by companies that want to profit from these long-term care facilities.
These for-profit companies are also understaffed, meaning the caretakers are often overworked which could allegedly lead them to maltreat or neglect the elderly on their care. Additionally, there are often weak safety regulations in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, as revealed in a Florida nursing care investigation.
The KDADS Takeover
Considering that these issues have become evident in different states, lobbyists are campaigning for a better law to protect and implement the rights of the elderly in nursing homes.
In Kansas, the government is taking over nursing homes which are suffering from financial issues. The state is looking into 15 nursing homes and aims to takeover these care homes to protect the elderly residents. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is pushing to take control of these nursing homes immediately to minimize the risks that the elderly residents may face.
The action comes to light after Skyline Health Care, who operate the 15 facilities, was dissolved. They are now unable to provide and pay for the basic needs of the elderlies in their care. According to documents from the court, Skyline has $250,000 arrears.
KDADS is expecting to take control of the facilities as soon as possible to further protect the elderly in these 15 homes. Moreover, the takeover is also expected help the almost 950 employees of these homes.
Peggy’s Law in New Jersey
Another long-term aid to ensure that the rights of the elderly in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are protected is Peggy’s law. For those unfamiliar, Peggy Marzolla was 93 years old, a resident in Brick Nursing Home Facility (Brick) and died in 2010. Brick reported that Peggy died because she accidentally fell. Her injuries included a broken eye socket, and her wrist and cheekbones were also broken.
However, Maurin Peri, Peggy’s daughter, did not believe her cause of death. To avoid similar incidents happening to the loved ones of others, Maurin lobbied for better protection for the elderly with what is now called Peggy’s Law.
In late last year, New Jersey updated Peggy’s Law. Governor Chris Christie added a new regulation for workers to report and contact the police immediately for any suspicious abusive or exploitative activities against seniors. This is a mandate including almost 900 facilities in the state.
The new bill also states that the employees should notify the police within 24 hours. If there are injuries involved, the employee or employees should notify the police two hours after the injury.
The employees of the facilities are considered to the first-line of defence of the elderly and their families. Therefore, it is expected from them to cooperate and report these types of incidents.
Georgia’s New Law
Georgia is also stepping into the light with a new law to protect seniors in care facilities. The law requires a tougher background check for employees in home care facilities. The new and old employees will have to be cleared from an FBI fingerprint check to ensure that the applicants and employees have not been in an abusive case or incident.
The fingerprints will be accessible in a database for families looking to hire caretakers for their elderly family members. The background checks and data is set to be available on 2021.
West Virgnia’s Litigation and Prevention Unit
West Virginia is stepping to resolve nursing home and senior issues as well. The state has formed a litigation and prevention unit to oversee senior abuses, along with a hotline to report suspected senior abuse.
The hotline can filter scam alerts as it can also be reached through email. The database of the hotline helps seniors reach to specific offices for their concerns.
The bill was created in response to West Virginia’s increasing elderly population; this age group grew from 16% in 2010 to 18.8% in 2016.
The bill also protects seniors from other abuses such as unfair collection of debt. The seniors can also report to the hotline if they have been denied from services or are being overcharged.
Fighting Against Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
As you can see, nursing home abuse is a serious issue that happens all across the country. While many states are starting to implement laws and regulations to help protect our seniors, abuse and neglect still occur far too often.
If you have concerns about a loved one’s care in a nursing home or long-term care facility, we encourage you to seek legal advice. Our experienced team of Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers work diligently to fight for the rights of nursing home victims and their families.