An article in the Spring 2012 issue of The Safety Report is “GET INVOLVED… STOP NURSING HOME ABUSE”. It observes that “while nursing homes are supposed to offer a safe haven for our elderly, all too often these homes offer a bastion for abuse.” Id. at 16.
“Based on the best estimates available to the National Center on Elder Abuse [www.ncea.aoa.gov], between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured or abused by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.” Id. Odds are that those numbers will continue to rise, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the average American currently lives to be roughly 78 years old, id., which is likely acturial to increase and with it the use ofnursing homes.
Nursing home abuse may manifest in many different ways, e.g., patient falls, chronic bedsores, inadequate hydration/diet, and medication errors. In Virginia, such neglect constitutes medical malpractice for which the patient and/or survivors may be entitled to compensation.