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Nursing Home Residents Aren’t Just Suffering from COVID; Neglect and Abuse Case Surge

An AP News article published in mid-November indicates that amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected vulnerable nursing home residents, neglect and abuse of elderly residents remains a rampant problem. The news publication details the story of a 75-year-old retired Alabama truck driver who became so malnourished and dehydrated that he dropped to 98 pounds and looked to his son like he’d been in a concentration camp. It reported the following:

“As more than 90,000 of the nation’s long-term care residents have died in a pandemic that has pushed staffs to the limit, advocates for the elderly say a tandem wave of death separate from the virus has quietly claimed tens of thousands more, often because overburdened workers haven’t been able to give them the care they need. Nursing home watchdogs are being flooded with reports of residents kept in soiled diapers so long their skin peeled off, left with bedsores that cut to the bone, and allowed to wither away in starvation or thirst.”

If a loved one is suffering from any form of abuse or neglect, it’s vital that you get in touch with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can help bring that negligent party to justice and compensate your loved one for any medical bills or emotional trauma associated with the crime.

Why Are Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases Surging During the 2020 Pandemic?

As the COVID-19 quarantine continues to create increasing separation between elderly nursing home residents and their loved ones, the isolation puts an abuser in a unique position. Trauma can go unnoticed by loved ones and families when nursing home residents aren’t being visited or checked up on for months at a time. Nursing home abuse generally occurs in situations of reduced oversight and isolation. Relatives are an integral part of catching and reporting nursing home abuse, but during lockdown, abusers have increased opportunity to prevent their victims from seeking help.

Likewise, not all abuse is the result of a direct and targeted attack. With the nursing home workforce being pushed to the brink in order to prevent the spread of COVID, staffing is often depleted. Chronic understaffing has been exacerbated at a few homes that were forced to evacuate because so many workers either tested positive or called in sick. In 20 states where virus cases are now surging, federal data shows nearly one in four nursing homes report staff shortages. Beyond that, AP News reports that swelling numbers of less clear-cut deaths have been fueled not by neglect but by a mental state “plunged into despair” by prolonged isolation.

The result? Overwhelmed nursing home workers are being less cautious. Likewise, employers may pressure workers to choose speed over safety. These components, coupled with abuse as a result of increased isolation, lead to a still-growing number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

How to Spot Coronavirus-Related Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When nursing homes inevitably begin to reemerge from the lockdowns that were imposed in March, it’s essential that you keep an eye out for nursing home negligence and abuse. In general, it’s important to note any changes in your loved one’s appearance and demeanor. Likewise, observe what else is happening in the building in terms of cleanliness, face masks, and access to basic materials. Does there appear to be sufficient staffing in the building? Do you notice residents and staff that appear to have possible symptoms of COVID-19?

If you discern anything out of the ordinary, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Reporting nursing home abuse is an important first step toward preventing trauma from further harming your loved one and other residents around them. It’s up to you to act as a spokesperson for your elderly loved one and seek legal action against the negligent nursing home.

Call an Expert Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York City

During this critical time, nursing homes must not only take every precaution to protect their residents and front-line employees from being exposed to COVID-19; they must also continue to avoid neglecting the wellbeing of the most vulnerable among us. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, it’s important that you get in touch with the skilled nursing home abuse lawyers at Dalli & Marino as soon as possible.

Our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been aggressively advocating for victims of nursing abuse since 1996. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients through trust and communication to ensure that we fully understand your needs. Our highly skilled team approaches each case on an individual basis and is dedicated to helping you recover the money necessary to compensate for any abuse or neglect. Give us a call at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.