In Indiana, nursing homes have a duty of care. Care providers are to ensure that patients have the proper care. The Nursing Home Abuse Guide suggests that there are over 150 federal regulations. In addition, in the state, nursing homes attain licensing from the Department of Health, Long-Term Care Division.
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents cannot communicate their abuse, neglect or fears to friends and family. In addition, some families fear reporting a hospital for improper care will make the abuse worse for their loved ones. Neglect and abuse comes in a variety of ways and there are some clear signs:
- Bedsores on patient
- Unsanitary conditions for patient
- Urine or feces scent to patient
- Malnourished and dehydrated patient
- Personal hygiene lacking with patient
- Cuts, bruises, abrasions and other unexplained injuries and swellings present on patient
In addition to these signs, the patient may present with behavioral changes. A patient may be more fearful, quiet or unusual. In addition, a person who suffers from abuse and neglect may become irrational, angry or upset even if he or she cannot communicate what is happening.
According to the Office of Inspector General, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have insufficient and ineffective procedures in place to protect the elderly from negligence and abuse. In terms of Medicare beneficiaries, a study showed that many of their injuries came from abuse or neglect. No one notified law enforcement in a large percentage of these cases.
The US Department of Health and Human Services audits CMS in order to detect nursing home and elder abuse in order to combat it fairly.