In a study conducted by the Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, results of criminal background investigations revealed that human health agencies (HHAs) were still employing criminals. Several of the employees were found to have convictions for crimes against people, which should have disqualified them from employment in the HHAs. Based on this information alone, it is safe to say that our nursing home patients are being failed.
Indiana Nursing Home Issues
Indiana has been regarded as one of the worst states for nursing home care. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in 2009 that Indiana’s nursing homes performed more inadequately than any other state in the country. Indiana nursing home employees have been in the news for recent incidents that indicate the problem has not yet improved.
Recent Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Incidents
In one of the more sadistic incidents, a nursing home employee at the Aperion Care Arbors of Michigan City shared a video on snapchat of an elderly dementia patient taking a shower. Inappropriate postings of nursing home patients on social media is a form of sexual exploitation and even voyeurism. An employee at Woodland Hills Care Center in Lawrenceburg was charged with battery resulting in the death of an endangered adult after an autopsy proved the nursing home patient died of broken vertebra and a witness informed authorities the employee pulled the patient from a walker violently.
It may not seem as serious a crime as sexual or physical abuse and neglect of the elderly, but cases of stealing patients financial information, personal property, and even medications has also been on the rise. Greenfield and Indianapolis police departments found themselves in the middle of an extensive identity theft ring investigation which focused on the Golden Living Nursing Home in Greenfield. While this is one of the larger identity theft cases involving elderly people, identity theft and financial abuse of elders has become more and more frequent lately.
No Laws Mandate Criminal Background Checks for Nursing Home Employees
People put their beloved family members in nursing homes and entrust the facilities will provide the best care for their loved ones. Currently, no national law exists to mandate how nursing homes should handle background checks of prospective employees, although it has been a topic of discussion. At the state level, only 10 require FBI and state criminal background checks. How can they be offering the best – and safest – care for patients?
The truth is, Indiana nursing homes are not providing the best care they can for our beloved and vulnerable elderly. As you have probably realized, nursing home abuse and neglect has different patterns, but each time, a patient has been abused or neglected. We can all help by raising these issues with state legislators and spreading awareness to the public, as well as learning the warning signs of elder abuse and neglect.
If you suspect a loved one of yours has been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect, the Indianapolis nursing home lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton, want to help you find justice. Contact us today to talk to a nursing home attorney today.