Professor Reminds Us That “Nursing Home Horrors” Go Beyond Covid-19
In a December 1, 2020 opinion article in the New York Post (“the Post”), Professor Charles Camosy provided a grim reminder that nursing home residents are suffering during this pandemic in ways that exceed the scope of the virus itself.
Nursing home residents make up approximately 1 percent of our nation’s population. Yet, they make up a startling 40% of deaths caused by Coronavirus. Some reports allege that in New York alone, the “failure to protect nursing home residents” from Covid-19 resulted in at least 6,000 deaths.
According to the Associated Press (AP), at least 40,000 nursing home deaths have been the result of “straight-up neglect.” Has the Covid-19 pandemic made conditions worse for all nursing home patients – even those without the virus? Has nursing home neglect caused tens of thousands of deaths? Perhaps.
Horror Stories Highlight Nursing Home Neglect Across the Country
One report involves Donald Wallace. The 75-year-old who lived in an Alabama residential nursing facility survived Covid-19.
The AP reported that Wallace’s son, Kevin, claims neglect ultimately killed his father. Kevin maintains that the facility stopped taking care of his father and that he became so dehydrated and malnourished that his weight dropped to 98 lbs. Wallace allegedly suffered septic shock and choked on his own food while dining unsupervised.
While the facility denies any negligence, Kevin feels strongly that it was pure neglect that resulted in his father’s death.
Camosy cites other horror stories to support the notion that neglect is widespread in nursing homes, especially now. There are reports of unchanged diapers, causing skin peeling and infections. There are also reports that patients aren’t being moved enough and that they are suffering from such bad bedsores that their bones are visible through the sores.
People are also suffering from the “profound isolation” that has resulted from the pandemic, their death certificates simply stating the cause of death as “failure to thrive.”
According to Camosy, many of these “practices were hiding in plain sight before, but the pandemic has forced Americans to examine how we treat our parents in the twilight of their lives.”
How Does Nursing Home Neglect Occur?
What type of negligence might be causing the suffering and death of non-Covid-19 nursing home residents during the pandemic?
- Nursing homes tend to be chronically short-staffed, which makes conditions ripe for neglect.
- Nursing home employees might be responsible for the well-being too many patients to treat them all with the level of care that is required by law
- Nursing home administrators may not be providing adequate training and supervision to employees to ensure they are performing their duties adequately
- Nursing homes might not be providing adequate supervision of residents, ensuring their safety
- Isolation policies make it hard for family members and friends to notice early signs of neglect and seek remedial action or medical attention
- Isolation policies also make it harder for nursing home residents to speak up about neglect
- Isolation and staffing shortages have made it difficult for nursing home residents to obtain the emotional, physical, and social stimulation they require and expect, leading to a very fast health deterioration for many elders.
Camosy hopes that the pandemic forces America to look at the way we treat our elder population, especially those in a nursing home. He calls on the government to assess the situation and make changes to “protect and honor our elders.”
He emphasizes the need to address understaffing and stop paying nursing home employees “less than a living wage.” Camosy insists that these factors, which go hand in hand, are crucial to resolving the rampant nursing home neglect occurring across our nation.
If Your Loved One is the Victim of Nursing Home Neglect, Call Alonso Krangle, LLP for Help.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home who is suffering from neglect or you suspect their death was caused by neglect, call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We have experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect claims and can determine if you are entitled to collect compensation. We believe in holding nursing homes accountable when their negligence causes injuries to innocent victims. We fight for the rights of nursing home residents and their families when neglect has severe consequences.
Call our New York nursing home neglect lawyers today at 516-350-5555 for a free case evaluation.