Families needing to provide care for aging relatives can choose assisted living facilities for those who cannot be safe living alone or may benefit from and enjoy the companionship of others. These facilities have limited nursing or medical care available. For people with more serious medical conditions, nursing homes offer full care. Sadly, elder abuse and neglect can happen at either type of facility.
One family was recently awarded $22.9 million in punitive damages for the death of their mother who had lived at an Emeritus home. Emeritus is one of the nation’s largest assisted living providers. They have received citations in seven states, including Texas where they have been fined multiple times for keeping residents who were wheelchair bound and in need of greater care than what their facility was designed to provide. Such practices were at the heart of the recent award against Emeritus.
The woman was kept at the assisted living home despite having extreme bed sores for which she was improperly treated. By the time the staff finally recommended she be moved to a nursing home, the sores were so severe that staff at the nursing home could not understand how she sat. The woman died two months after leaving the facility. Emeritus originally offered the family a $3 million settlement but the family declined because the terms would have prevented them from telling their story.
Such stories are sad, especially for those who have loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. If you have a family member in a care facility and have any concerns about potential nursing home neglect, you may wish to talk with a Texas elder abuse lawyer.
Source: Salon, “When death is better than a nursing home,” A.C. Thompon, Propublica and Jonathon Jones, August 4, 2013