While multiple reports have been made regarding COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, the number of deaths caused by nursing home neglect have surpassed those figures. In fact, the number of deaths caused by neglect due to the pandemic has nursing home watchdogs raising the red flag. With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, there is a concern that nursing home deaths due to neglect will also continue to rise.
It has been reported that over 90,000 nursing home residents have died during the COVID-19 pandemic from the virus. Reports continue to come in regarding residents who are being left in soiled diapers, are suffering from painful bed sores, and are struggling with hunger and dehydration. ‘Failure to thrive’ has been listed on death certificates as well, as the pandemic has resulted in prolonged isolation for many nursing home residents.
A recent Associated Press study analyzed data from 15,000 long-term care facilities, finding that for every two COVID-19 victims, at least one resident has died prematurely due to other causes. The total of these related fatalities has reached more than 40,000 since March.
One of the issues attributing to nursing home neglect, involves a shortage of staff members. Residents who are sick with COVID-19 require extra care, leaving non-virus residents with fewer healthcare workers to attend to their needs. Chronic understaffing at nursing home facilities has consistently been reported as a major problem during the pandemic. Federal data has shown that one in every four nursing homes have reported staff shortages during the pandemic.
Family members who have been allowed to visit their loved ones have reported being concerned with what they saw when they entered the facilities, including reports of residents being severely dehydrated and unclean, among a number of other allegations.
When families place their loved ones in the care of a nursing home, they have the expectation that the staff and all those responsible with providing care for their loved one will do so at the highest standard. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes adhere to the high quality of care one would expect.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are a common occurrence in Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Examples of abuse in nursing homes can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, confinement, passive neglect, willful deprivation, and financial exploitation. Nursing home abuse is a felony in Florida and there are certain laws in place to protect the elderly. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse, neglect or injury in a Florida nursing home or assisted living facility, or if you see bedsores or pressure sores, on your loved one, we’re here to help you.
A civil trial attorney with the firm Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A., Mr. Damaso concentrates on cases involving personal injury and wrongful deaths and solely represents individual victims and consumers. He takes his clients' cases personally and is committed to their best possible outcome. His strong sense of community has led to his support of numerous charities in the Orlando area.