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Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes - Essay Example

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Summary
The numbers and the percentage of people that are over the age of sixty-five has increased greatly in recent years, due to increased longevity and declining birthrates. Increasing numbers of elderly people are staying for long periods of time in nursing homes due to the effects of prolonged illnesses and other health complications common in elderly people.
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Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
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Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

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In February of 2006 state inspectors in Kentucky inspected the largest nursing home in the state, which was a 286-bed facility in Highland Heights known as Lakeside Heights Nursing Center. Inspectors found numerous health and safety violations. They declared that ten patients were in "immediate jeopardy" and had discovered that one patient had died after the staff had failed to treat his medical problems properly. A report done by state inspectors (2006) found widespread problems with the facility:
The report said the facility was often critically understaffed and that on 24 occasions only one licensed nurse was assigned to the entire facility and at times, the nurse on duty was not trained to administer intravenous fluids, which placed three residents in jeopardy. According to the report, the residents often could not get services or supplies from outside vendors because of bills that the nursing home had not paid. The inspectors documented one case in which a patient, who was frequently choking on solid food, could not get to an appointment with a doctor because the home was in arrears to the cab company. The report said the local water district threatened to shut off service to the facility if the nursing home did not make immediate payments on an overdue bill of $40, 000. Those and many other problems in the report led Kentucky's Inspector General, Robert Benvenuti III, to tell the Cincinnati Post, that this was the worst case he had seen in his 26 months on the job. Mr Benvenuti said a major source of the problems was too few workers, which kept basic care from being performed. In one instance, a state inspector saw a resident sitting, urine-soaked, in a wheelchair and two new pressure sores were identified on the patient's buttocks and the patient was not being checked every two hours as required by law. In another case, an inspector saw a resident moving about the home in a wheelchair with an open, uncovered wound to the big toe and observed dirt and pieces of hair stuck to the wound, according to the report. The resident reported having asked for new dressing at 7 am that morning, and when nobody responded, removed the old dressing. The report noted that a new dressing was not provided until 5:30 pm that day. With not enough staff to get patients out of bed or turned in bed, inspectors found that residents developed new bed sores, or sores that they already had had worsened and that 31 residents did not receive doctor-ordered treatment for their sores. One patient died of an electrolyte imbalance after the nursing home failed to follow the instructions of doctor ordered treatment.
The report said that nursing home staff failed to notify doctors of changes in the patient's condition, failed to properly assess the patient's condition, and failed to establish a plan to care for that person. According to the Cincinnati Post, another resident did not receive treatment for blood coming from his mouth for eight hours, during which time bleeding also started in a chest wound and his rectum. In another case, a resident left the nursing home unsupervised and without permission several ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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