A recent report of the health and human services department categories nursing home abuse and negligence complaints into five types, such as
- Abuse – physical, psychological, and sexual
- Negligence in direct care, treatment, food, or safety
- Financial fraud – property and identity theft
- Injuries of unknown source
Nursing home abuse complaints are among the highest while the last category of complaints comprises almost 20% of all grievances reported. The preponderance of these unknown injuries points the negligent attitude of the caregivers. However, criminal prosecutions are rare and most of those accused remain scot free.
The Law on the Horizon
The year began with a hope when a new bill was introduced making it compulsory for nursing home staff to have dementia-specific training. It seeks to insert “a new section of KRS Chapter 194A to require dementia-specific training for nurse aides upon initial orientation and an annual requirement of 5 hours of dementia-specific in-service training for nurse aides.”
Such a law is overdue after the infamous Anna Ambrose death case of 2006 that led to $300,000 award in damages and $225,000 as punitive compensation. Three years later, another resident with dementia was “sexually abused by two male residents within sight of a nursing supervisor, who was aware that the accused residents had a history of exhibiting sexual behaviors” There was no criminal prosecution and the Kentucky nursing home was let off with a fine despite proven careless.
State Efforts Are Lacking
Kentucky government and its agencies have the largest share of responsibility in protecting nursing home residents. But they have, respectfully, failed on that count. The regulatory framework has been violated constantly without any strong action. Overlapping of responsibilities allows enforcement agencies to shift the blame for their inaction without coming forward to end the humiliation residents face at long-term care centers. Evidences suggest that even many citations in the past went unpunished while nursing home negligence in Kentucky continued to thrive. The office of the inspector general and adult protection services blame each other while the guilty went with impunity.
Advocacy Reports Cite Sordid Story
Nursing home negligence in Kentucky continues to dominate reports prepared by various consumer advocacy and healthcare agencies. The Families for Better Care, which consistently ranks state care centers “high risk category for failing standard of care” and deplores continued lack of direct care at these facilities, which have paid the highest amount of penalties in the last three years apart from awards and settlements with KY nursing home lawyers representing victims of abuse and negligence. Over $11 million collected from these facilities as fines is almost 20% more than Texas, a state with over four-time higher number of nursing homes.
Consult a Kentucky Nursing Home Attorney
Almost 6,000 Kentuckians, one in every four residents, suffer from negligence, physical abuse, mistreatment, sexual exploitation, or financial fraud at nursing homes. One in every three such incidents has strong evidence to establish the negligence attitude of the staff or management of care centers. The state law provides senior citizens a number of rights against abuse and mistreatment by caregivers.
Call on 1-866-447-0150 or contact us to know about legal options to seek financial and non-financial compensation against nursing home negligence in Kentucky.