Under the law, Arizona nursing homes have a legal and ethical obligation to provide each resident with the care necessary for the resident to attain and maintain his or her highest level of physical, mental and psychological well being. Said another way, nursing homes are required to maintain each resident's highest level of function while the resident is under their care. This obligation includes prevencting injuries and accidents.
There are approximately 15,800 nursing homes operating in the United States today, facilities that will care for nearly 3 million Americans at some time this year. Unfortunately, each year approximately 35,000 nursing home residents suffer unnecessary and avoidable pain, injury, or death due to negligence, improper care, and careless disregard. Sometimes, this is “just” negligence, but sometimes it is something far worse: it is a company understaffing, under-training and under-caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens, simply to make more money. Sometimes these companies, which may have facilities in many states, generating millions and millions of dollars, “game” the system, advertising for, and taking in, patients who need the highest level of care (for highest rates) while providing minimal care with minimal staff. This is wrong, and also illegal, but government regulators can’t and don’t catch every instance. Through aggressive litigation, these abuses can be brought to light and we are proud of the investigations which our clients’ complaints have initiated.
Nursing home abuse and neglect refers to the mistreatment, exploitation, neglect, or harm of a resident that typically results in injury, pain, suffering, or, in some instances, death. If you believe you or a loved one has been neglected, abused, or mistreated in a nursing home, an experienced attorney with Miller Weber Kory can help you hold the nursing home accountable for the pain, suffering, financial loss and medical expenses. We have investigated and represented clients who have suffered from the following acts of nursing home abuse and/or negligence:
Bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers
Physical abuse including assault or battery and sexual abuse
Wandering and elopement
Falls involving fractures, especially hip fractures
Failure to properly clean the patient’s dressing or bed clothes
Dehydration / Malnutrition
Understaffing and negligent hiring of unqualified, incompetent, or poorly trained staff
Failure to follow doctor’s orders
Failure to develop and maintain a comprehensive care plan for the resident
Unfortunately, however, many nursing home residents and/or families do not report instances of abuse or neglect out of fear of retaliation, a lack of knowledge of their rights regarding the nursing home’s obligations to their residents, or because they do not want to burden their families. Additionally, not all victims are able to communicate that abuse or neglect has occurred, or is occurring. In fact, an estimated 84% of nursing home abuse cases go unreported or unrecognized.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2008, 29 Arizona nursing homes were given a poor rating. In fact, according to CMS more than one in five nursing homes in Arizona received the lowest possible grade on the federal government’s five-star system, which rates the quality of nursing homes based on measures such as performance and staffing. For a complete list of CMS’s ratings of Arizona’s nursing homes please visit CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website, www.medicare.gov.
Take Action Now
If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse in Phoenix or throughout Arizona, you should take action quickly and call us at 602-648-4045 or 855-695-4357 to set up a free confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix nursing home abuse attorney.