There are more than 40 active nursing homes in Baltimore County, Maryland. They are spread out through the entire county. Any of these homes can become a very hazardous place for your loved ones to live if they become the victims of nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect or suffer an injury while under the care of the nursing home. Nursing home abuse is more common in the Baltimore, Annapolis and Maryland Capital Region that one would think. Some abuse cases are worse than others but elder abuse is never acceptable. When you place a loved one in a Baltimore nursing home you are paying for a certain level of care. If that standard of care is breached your family member may suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Under Maryland nursing home laws the family of the injury victim may be entitled to various benefits and financial compensation. It is unfortunate that many elder abuse, nursing home abuse and assisted living home abuse cases are never reported. If you suspect that a loved one has been abused, injured, neglected or sexually assaulted in a Baltimore nursing home you need to speak with our Baltimore nursing home abuse lawyers.
If a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect contact our Baltimore nursing home lawyers today to discuss your case. They offer free consultations and charge no fee unless they recover for you.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Baltimore
Our team of Baltimore nursing home neglect lawyers have many years experience handling elder abuse claims and have seen such abuse show itself in different forms. Nursing home neglect can result in injuries such as bedsores, infections, falls, rape, battery, dehydration, malnutrition, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and poor medical care. Over the course of their legal careers our Baltimore County nursing home accident attorneys have found that substandard care in the form of neglect and intentional harms can be equally devastating.
If you believe a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect or financial exploitation you should contact our team of Baltimore nursing home abuse attorneys. However, perhaps more important there are things that can be done to try to stop the problem immediately.
Ways To Stop Nursing Home Abuse In Maryland
In addition to contacting a Baltimore nursing home abuse attorney there are other steps you can take. You can increase your visits to the facility both in terms of frequency and duration of visits. It is also a good idea to express your concerns to the staff and administration. Another option you have is to notify the state Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman for the Maryland State Agency on Aging by dialing (410) 887-4200. In the Baltimore City limits dial (410) 396-3144.
There are things you can do to decrease the chances your loved one becomes a victim of nursing home abuse in Maryland.
Visit the nursing home. Most Baltimore nursing homes offer tours. It is a wise move to take the tour and make sure you look beyond what they want you to see. If possible, talk to other residents and their families, see if there are any state reports, find out how long the nursing home has been around, compare the nurse and staff to patient ratio, ask if the nursing home is a restraint-free facility, do you notice unusual odors, are all hallways free of obstacles, are the trash receptacles overflowing or emptied, ask if there are visiting restrictions during evenings, meals, or other times. Careful analysis of nursing homes will hopefully precent the need to ever retain a Baltimore nursing home abuse lawyer.
Is A Nursing Home Right for Your Loved One?
Statistically nearly half of all nursing home residents are 85 years or older. By comparison very few residents are younger than 65 years. Most are women (72%) without a spouse (almost 70% are widowed, divorced or never married) and with only a small group of family members and friends for support.
Common Reasons For Living in A Nursing Home
A disability with activities of daily living (ADLs) is the primary reason that older people live in nursing homes. Not surprisingly, people living in nursing homes generally have more disability than people living at home. About 25% of nursing-home residents need help with one or two activities of daily living (for example, walking and bathing), and 75% need help with three or more. More than half of residents have incontinence (either bowel or bladder), and more than a third have difficulty with hearing or seeing.
In addition to physical problems, mental conditions are common in nursing home residents. In fact, dementia remains the most common problem, and affects an estimated 50-70% of residents. More than three fourths of nursing-home residents have problems making daily decisions, and two thirds have problems with memory or knowing where they are from time to time.
At least one-third of nursing home residents with dementia also have problematic behaviors. These behaviors may include verbal and physical abuse, acting inappropriately in public, resisting necessary care, and wandering. Communication problems are also common—almost half of nursing home residents have difficulty both being understood and understanding others. Depression is another condition that affects nursing home residents. Research has shown it may occur more in nursing home residents than in individuals living in the community.
Length of Stay
Although disability is common among nursing home residents, the length of stay varies greatly. Twenty-five percent of people admitted stay only a short time (3 months or less). Many of the people who stay for a short time are admitted for rehabilitation or for terminal (ie, end-of-life) care. About half of residents spend at least 1 year in the nursing home, and 21% live there for almost 5 years. Interestingly, function often improves in many of the residents who stay for a longer time.
Risk Factors for Admission
There are several risk factors for admission to a nursing home, including the following:
- Age. The chance of being admitted to a nursing home goes up rapidly with age. For example, about 20% of people 85 years and older live in nursing homes, compared with just 1.1% of people 65-74 years of age.
- Low income.
- Poor family support. Especially in cases where the older adult lacks a spouse or children.
- Low social activity.
- Functional or mental difficulties.
Characteristics of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes increasingly offer medical services similar to those offered in hospitals after surgery, illness, or other sudden medical problems. Older adults need a higher level of care, and hospital stays are shorter than they used to be. Medical services vary a lot among nursing homes, but include:
- kidney dialysis
- orthopedic care (care for muscle, joint, and bone problems), breathing treatments
- support after surgery
- intravenous therapy and antibiotics
- and wound care.
Traditionally, these services have been available only in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
Choosing a Nursing Home
Your family doctor or other healthcare professional (such as, home health nurses and social workers) can provide recommendations for nursing homes. Older adults and/or family members should try to visit as many places as possible to get a sense of what the place is like, including the overall feeling and quality of care. Using a checklist can help you evaluate quality, the range of services, convenience, and costs. Your visit may last an hour or two so that you can meet and talk with the admissions officer, nursing home administrator, head nurse, and social worker. Remember that no nursing home is perfect, and all will likely be very different from the current living situation.
Contact Our Baltimore Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys