Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
As the baby boomer generation ages — and with all generations living longer and having longer old ages – the need for nursing homes and assisted living facilities will increase. According to the CDC, there were 15,600 nursing homes and 1.4 million nursing home residents across the United States in 2014. In Colorado alone, there are over two hundred different nursing home facilities.
Nursing Homes Are Regulated
All Colorado nursing homes are licensed through the state and certified to provide services. In Colorado, nursing home administrators are responsible for following both state and federal regulations. Private pay, Medicare, and Medicaid facilities and are expected to meet both state and federal regulations, and Colorado enforces these state and federal regulations through unannounced annual surveys and complaint investigations. Annual surveys take place every 9 to 15 months, with an average of every 12 months.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
However, even with annual surveys and a litany of state and federal regulations, there are still regular instances of elder abuse and neglect at Colorado nursing home facilities. These facilities have a duty to look after residents, meet all of their needs, and treat them with dignity and respect while keeping them safe and healthy. Unfortunately, this also makes them vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
Nursing home abuse can include just about any kind of abuse – physical, psychological, sexual, etc. – that may be perpetuated by personnel or even other residents. Personnel come into close contact with residents and may not cope well with residents who are ill, have dementia, or make the work a challenge. However, no matter how challenging a resident, there is no excuse for hurting a resident.
Neglect can occur when personnel either willfully refuse to meet a resident’s needs, or the facility is understaffed, or has undertrained personnel, or works under a dysfunctional administration.
Signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home facility can include:
- Pressure sores (also known as “bedsores”);
- Unexplained broken bones;
- Open wounds, cuts, and bruises;
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss;
- Poor and improper hygiene; and
- Unexplained infections.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect that you or a loved one are a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, immediately document and report the problem. Make sure that you document any interactions you have with the nursing home administrator and report any instances of potential abuse or neglect to the Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board and law enforcement if necessary.
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be difficult to prove, so having experienced personal injury attorneys at your side can make all the difference. For over 30 years, Kidneigh & Kaufman handles all types of personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, our lawyers want to help you. The attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. know how to prove nursing home abuse and neglect and how to obtain compensation for the harm done. Call Kidneigh & Kaufman today at 303-393-6666 to schedule your free consultation.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nursing Home Care. https://www .cdc.gov/nchs/ fastats/nursing-home-care.htm. May 3, 2017.
 Colorado State Web Portal. Nursing home facility directory. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/nursing-home-care.htm.
 Colorado State Web Portal. How the state surveys nursing homes. https://www.colorado.gov/ pacific/cdphe/how-state-surveys-nursing-homes.