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When Corruption Leads to Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Corrupt nursing homes are prone to incidents of neglect and abuse. Improper supervision of nursing home staff, understaffing, negligent care, and irresponsible or even abusive actions of caregivers in these facilities can put elderly residents in danger.

Concealing Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes

The horror stories in the news regarding nursing home abuse and neglect are astounding. In October of 2019, 3 nursing home facility workers in North Carolina were charged with forcing residents to participate in a fighting ring with other residents. In some instances, staff members were recording the fights and encouraging nursing home residents, many of which had Alzheimer’s and dementia, to abuse one another.

The month prior to the North Carolina case, Philip Esformes, CEO of a chain of nursing home and assisted living facilities, was convicted of numerous schemes that involved bribing doctors to refer patients to Esformes’s facilities, inappropriately moving residents between facilities to keep ratios stable, and even bribing government officials to give facilities notice when a surprise inspection was about to take place. As a result, many residents received inadequate medical care, lived in poor or unsafe conditions, were charged for unnecessary services, or denied any services whatsoever. After years of investigations that began in 2016, multiple charges were admitted to, and a 20-year sentence along with a $44 million penalty was received. In addition to criminal charges, Esformes may face civil lawsuits from the victims’ families.

Uncovering Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Approximately 33% of the 1.5 million nursing home residents in the United States suffer from dehydration or malnutrition. In many cases, vulnerable nursing home residents are forced to live in inhumane conditions and they often go without necessary medical care or assistance with eating, moving around, hygiene, and other daily activities. They are often left unattended, and many are physically and emotionally abused.

Although regular inspections of nursing home facilities are designed to identify and prevent unsafe conditions, abuse, and neglect, homes are often tipped off before inspectors arrive, medical and care records are altered, and serious violations are simply ignored. This corruption in the system has led to thousands of serious injuries and deaths that were preventable.

Nursing home facilities must provide a safe environment for all residents. When abuse and neglect go unacknowledged, poor living conditions, abuse, and inadequate medical care put residents at risk of serious illness, injury, or death.

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