The decision to place our loved ones in a nursing home is never easy. Often times their health problems require round-the-clock care, so we trust trained nursing staff with their well-being in the belief that they will be treated with the utmost level of care and compassion.
Unfortunately, a disturbing trend of recurring injuries and evidence of neglect has emerged in our state, signaling the need for a higher level of accountability from Indiana's nursing home and health care facilities.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Our office has investigated several types of nursing home abuse cases, and while a resident may be suffering from any number of conditions that can warrant a legal investigation, the most common injuries we see include:
Falls are often the cause of broken bones for nursing home residents in Indiana, whether it be the result of faulty bed railings, improper supervision by the medical staff, or dropping a resident while attempting to move them.
Caused by a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, Sepsis can occur when a cut or opening in the skin is not properly treated or bandaged.
Also known as pressure sores or ulcers, bed sores appear as a wound or open lesion when a part of the patient's body (often a bony area of the body) receives constant pressure from a bed or chair.
Sexual Abuse Injuries
Unfortunately, a large number of sexual abuse cases in Indiana nursing homes go undocumented due to the residents inability to properly communicate the crime or for fear of retaliation from the offending staff member.
When a patient's nutritional intake is improperly supervised, the risk of vitamin deficiency and/or dehydration become a genuine concern. A lack of fluids and or appropriate meals can lead to confusion and several other health risks that can lead to serious injury.
A common mistake in Indiana nursing homes, medication errors occur when residents are given the wrong medication, an inappropriate dosage, or don't receive the medication.
Unfortunately, injuries and neglect aren't always visible to the human eye, so depending on the resident's ability to communicate, they may not be able to voice their concerns regarding pain and/or mistreatment. It's this fact that makes it critical to carefully observe your loved one when visiting the nursing home.
The above list is not designed to be exclusive, so if you don't see your loved one's condition or injury listed, it's still possible to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit depending on the circumstances.
Why File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
The combination of Indiana's poor nursing home review ratings and a shortage of skilled nursing home staff has led to an increased number of abuse and neglect lawsuits throughout our state, especially in Indianapolis. The response from experienced nursing home abuse lawyers has been to aggressively pursue these cases on behalf of their clients and send a message that substandard care for our elderly population is unacceptable.
"Unfortunately, nursing homes are often understaffed and poorly managed which can lead to instances of abuse and neglect."
The decision to hire an attorney to review your possible nursing home lawsuit is an important one. The legal action you take on behalf of your loved one not only ensures they are properly compensated for their injuries, it also helps serve to prevent future occurrences of similar abuse for others.
Indiana's Nursing Home Statistics
When choosing a nursing home for a loved one, there is nothing more important than the research you conduct leading up to that decision. Fortunately, there is a large collection of information and statistics available to Indiana residents regarding the types of facilities as well as their level of care and quality rankings.
Total Number of Indiana Nursing Homes
There are currently 516 Indiana nursing homes that are certified by Medicare and Medicaid. Included in that number is a total of 50,318 beds for skilled nursing residents. (Skilled nursing residents are defined as those people requiring nursing care and/or related services.)
To date, only 3% of our state's nursing homes currently exist inside a hospital with 77% of the facilities being run as non-profit care centers.
Indianapolis is home to 47 of the states 516 nursing homes, with a total of 5,039 beds for skilled nursing residents.
Indiana Nursing Homes Rankings
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services devised a 5-star rating system that is used to assess facilities across the country, including the individual ratings of every nursing home in the state of Indiana. These ratings are a result of findings that are derived from 3 sources:
Health Inspection Ratings
This rating is a result of inspections that are performed to determine how closely a nursing home has followed Medicare's minimum quality requirements.
This rating comes from the total number of hours of care on average afforded to a resident each day by nursing staff. (Staff ratings can fluctuate from home to home depending on the level of care a particular home is designed to give to residents.)
Quality Measure Ratings
This rating indicates how well a nursing home is caring for the residents' physical and clinical needs.
At present, Indiana's cumulative national rank is 42nd in terms of the level of care and quality found in our state's nursing home and care facilities. This is unacceptable and a large reason why an Indiana nursing home abuse lawyer is often required following a suspicious injury and or incident.
Hiring an Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Keller & Keller offers a Zero Fee Guarantee to nursing home abuse victims and their families throughout Indiana. This means that we will never charge a consultation fee, and there are no upfront charges for any investigation and legal work related to the case. The only way our firm receives payment is if a recovery is made on your behalf.
Call us at 1-800-253-5537 to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorneys in Indianapolis, or use our confidential, free contact form to write us the details of your potential case.