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According to an investigation by the Philadelphia Inquirer recently, regulators often overlook neglect and abuse when monitoring and inspecting long term care facilities, such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes, ignoring signs of physical and psychological abuse, as well as outright neglect.
On Vietnam veteran with mental health problems was tortured for two months at a privately run nursing home. After one beating, he was hospitalized and called it a blessing to have been beaten so badly as it was his “ticket into a hospital – and out of hell.” He had been savagely kicked, manhandled, and overdosed with psychotropic drugs. The couple who ran the facility also forced residents to do menial labor, fed them spoiled food, robbed them of their money, and beat them physically when they complained. Two residents died when they did not received needed medical attention.
State records showed state regulators investigated detailed complaints against the facility repeatedly over a two year period, rejecting the claims as unfounded. In Pennsylvania and most states, state regulators often miss beatings, neglect, and psychological abuse at such facilities. Bureaucrats often too easily accept the reassurances of those they regulate that residents somehow harm themselves or suffered from unavoidable accidents. In addition, inspections are often short and haphazard, as well as far too brief. Residents are often afraid to tell the truth, fearing retaliation by facility owners or caregivers. Operators and caregivers become immersed in a culture of cruelty, becoming desensitized at the care, or lack thereof, provided in the facility.
Reckless or negligent operation of nursing homes and assisted living facilities maniefests itself in ways that haunt any average American as inexcusable: malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, weight loss, asphyxiation in bedrails or at unsupervised mealtimes, unexplained injuries, falls and even physical and sexual abuse. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, always be vigilant to notice the signs of abuse and neglect. If a loved one is injured or killed in a nursing home, seek the advice of an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.