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Bennington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Protecting the Rights of Nursing Home Residents in the Bennington Area

The city of Bennington was founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1892. Located only 10 miles away from Omaha, it offers the conveniences of a larger metropolitan area while maintaining a small town atmosphere. Dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are located near Bennington, some of which offer different levels of care.

Is Nursing Home Abuse More Common Today?

In 2018, 52.4 million adults ages 65 and older were living in the U.S. That number is predicted to reach 80 million by 2040, at which time older adults will comprise nearly 21% of the total population, as stated by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). As the elderly population is growing, so is the prevalence of nursing home abuse.

Based on self-reports by residents, researchers have found high levels of abuse in institutions, such as nursing home facilities. By type of abuse, prevalence of abuse in nursing homes is estimated at:

  • Emotional abuse – 33.4%
  • Physical abuse – 14.1%
  • Financial abuse – 13.8%
  • Neglect – 11.6%
  • Sexual abuse – 1.9%

Why Does Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Happen?

There is no one single cause of nursing home abuse. Various issues could drive staff to neglect or abuse older people entrusted to their care. Often, the causes of abuse and neglect can be traced back to nursing home facility owners or administrators who are more concerned with profit than with the welfare of the elderly residents in their care. In addition to general nursing home mismanagement, these causes include:

  • Understaffing: When staff are “spread too thin” and overworked, it can lead to mistakes, prevent residents from receiving care on time, and increase staff burnout and tension.
  • Inadequate training: Nursing home administrators are responsible for properly training staff to follow specific protocols designed to ensure nursing home residents’ care needs are met. When nursing home staff are not properly trained, they may not know how to perform CPR. They may fail to check for bedsores, administer medications improperly, fail to provide proper treatment for diseases and infections, or neglect to change a resident’s clothes or bed sheets.
  • Low staff pay: Nursing home jobs pay approximately the same as fast food restaurants. Lower paying jobs tend to attract people with little experience who are not qualified for higher paying positions. Combined with lack of training, low pay can affect the attitudes of staff members toward their jobs and toward residents.

What Laws Are in Place to Protect Seniors in Nursing Homes?

The rights of residents in nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds are protected by the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Among many other rights, the act guarantees nursing home residents the right to be treated with dignity and respect, freedom from physical restraints, and freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect. Nebraska also has laws in place to govern the care of elderly citizens and protect their rights.

What Should You Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

If you have noticed signs of abuse, take action to protect your senior loved one. Get medical attention for any injuries he or she has suffered and report the abuse to the proper authorities. Contact our experienced Bennington personal injury lawyer as soon as possible for sound legal guidance on the best way to proceed.

At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have experience with nursing home abuse cases and know what to do to help you protect your loved one and recover the compensation your family deserves. If you suspect your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call us today at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation.

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