Massachusetts elderly may be at risk in nursing homes

Nursing homes should be places where the elderly can go to be in comfort when they can no longer care for themselves. Yet the unfortunate truth is that the elderly admitted to nursing homes are often victims of nursing home neglect. Nursing home abuse and neglect can be devastating to those seeking to live out their remaining years at ease. Injured people and their families may have legal remedies against a nursing home or other caregiver that is responsible for abuse or neglect.

How the elderly can be victims of nursing homes

Nursing home injuries can arise from a number of improper nursing home practices and can manifest in different ways. For example, many elderly people are admitted to nursing homes not merely because they are elderly, but also because they actually have a mental condition that prevents them from taking care of themselves.

Medical insurance does not always provide effective coverage for mentally ill, elderly patients. In some cases, specialized facilities may be appropriate that are simply outside of the coverage or the financial ability to pay of the individual patient and his or her family. Even Medicaid strictly limits coverage for such care. As a result, mentally ill elderly people are often denied the care they need and placed in a nursing home where they are more likely to be mistreated as a result of their special needs.

In other cases, nursing home personnel may mistake the symptoms of a mental illness for mere old age, leading to inappropriate treatment or insufficient sensitivity to these residents and their conditions. Even elderly people of sound mind may be forced to take powerful antipsychotic sedatives, which are often used to control residents of nursing homes. The gratuitous use of these sedatives can cause harm to the elderly who reside in nursing homes and may worsen any pre-existing mental conditions that they suffer from.

Perhaps the harshest reality is that those who are admitted to nursing homes are sometimes blatantly and intentionally subjected to nursing home abuse, and as a result the residents may end up permanently injured.

An attorney experienced with nursing home injuries can help

Those who have been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect, or those who have family members that they suspect are being mistreated, should speak with an attorney experienced in nursing home injury law. Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may be entitled to receive compensation for their medical costs and pain and suffering. Like any area of law, nursing home injury law is complex, and it is important to obtain effective representation by counsel that has adequate experience practicing in the field.