Alan D. Bell Attorney at Law
Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney
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1 in 3 nursing homes cited for abuse

A recent study found that between 1999 and 2001, approximately 30 percent of all nursing homes nationwide received citations for elder abuse during that two-year period.

The congressional study listed some of the most common issues as bedsores left untreated, poor medical care, malnutrition, dehydration and a lack of sufficient sanitation. Many of the circumstances were severe enough that residents were already suffering harm or at a high risk of injury or death.

Shocking news

This report came as quite a shock to the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee. The report found that not only are nursing home staff abusing patients, but there are also many instances of abuse from other residents. Some of the resident-on-resident violence had even been incited by staff members.

The industry has blamed the majority of nursing home abuse on the inability to attract and retain staff that has the necessary skill to work in such an environment. The staff that most facilities have on hand is under-skilled or does not provide quality care.

Reasons for inadequate care

Nursing facilities point to a lack of funding which keeps them from hiring appropriate staff. Some nursing homes only receive enough state and federal funding to pay an average of $7 to $9 per hour for nursing assistants. Wages such as these are typically not enough to attract the kind of individuals nursing facilities need in order to adequately care for their residents.

An argument exists that residents generally receive better care at not-for-profit care facilities versus for-profit homes. This is mainly due to the fact that the not-for-profit sector has access to more staff, since many people work as volunteers. Not-for-profit nursing homes can also apply for more government funding due to their exempt organization status, while for-profits are restricted by the reimbursements set by state and federal governments.

Rising (grim) statistics

Since 1996, cases of nursing home abuse have steadily been on the rise. Another investigative study found that 70 percent of facilities in a single Pennsylvania congressional district failed their most recent state inspections.

Nursing homes, even in the Bloomfield area, are not meeting basic standards when it comes to preventing even minor injuries. They are also failing to provide reasonable living environments that are sanitary and safe for residents.

If you have a loved one in a Bloomfield or other New Jersey nursing facility, it is important that you watch carefully for signs of abuse or neglect. If you do see signs, or suspect that some type of abuse is occurring, remove your loved one immediately and consider taking legal action.

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Alan D. Bell
650 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 105
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Phone: 973-233-4291
Phone: 973-743-7070

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