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Nursing home neglect a problem in for-profit care centers

When elderly New York City residents are no longer able to care for themselves, the decision is often made to put them into a private nursing home. However, families of these people may want to carefully consider all of their options. Some nursing homes that are set up as for-profit organizations have been found to focus more on making money than on providing quality care for their residents and patients, leading to a rising number of lawsuits.

Nursing home neglect was the source of one class-action lawsuit against a for-profit nursing home group. Residents were found to have suffered various forms of neglect and abuse including malnutrition, infections, left in soiled clothing, missed meals and bad hygiene. The reason for the neglect was that the nursing homes provided an inadequate number of staff members to properly care for residents. This is just one of many nursing home abuse cases that have been filed against for-profit centers.

Another lawsuit, settled out of court, accused a for-profit nursing home of contributing to the death of the patient by reducing staff to maximize their revenue. The patient, who died, suffered from bed sores, infections and malnutrition. She also broke her hip twice, fell three times, and underwent other medical issues.

These instances of nursing home abuse are occurring in New York and other areas of the country, giving many professionals and government agencies cause for concern. It would therefore be a good idea to thoroughly investigate a nursing home and its history before putting a loved one there. If there is a suspected problem, the family member can speak with an attorney to gain legal advice on what he or she can do to protect their loved one.

Source: Bloomberg, "For-Profit Nursing Homes Lead in Overcharging While Care Suffers," Peter Waldman, Dec. 30, 2012

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