When Connecticut families place their elderly loved ones in a nursing home, it is often because the elders in question are suffering from dementia or other illnesses that require intensive and professional levels of care. However, the decision can be challenging, because nursing homes have been sites of abuse of various types for many elderly people. Physical and sexual abuse may be one part of the spectrum, but nursing home neglect can be just as deadly. Dehydration and malnutrition due to neglect and mistreatment can take lives. This is especially true when the victims are those who are not capable of advocating for themselves or even clearly telling people what is happening to them.
The bipartisan federal Elder Justice Act was passed in 2010 by Congress. Still, even nearly 10 years later, many of the programs envisioned in the bill are severely underfunded or were never funded at all. Earlier in 2019, it was revealed that at least one nursing home that received a five-star rating from the federal government had caused the death of patients due to neglect and dehydration. Nursing home residents can also be vulnerable to other types of exploitation by staff members and other residents, such as financial abuse, which racks up a cost of $3 billion each year according to the Justice Department.
Laws against nursing home abuse and neglect are rarely enforced. It can be difficult to uncover bad nursing homes and care facilities without a report or a complaint. Of course, many people in nursing homes are vulnerable precisely because they cannot make an effective complaint.
People who learn that their loved ones are being abused in a nursing home may be outraged and want to take action. A personal injury attorney can help victims of nursing home negligence to seek compensation for their damages.