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Congress investigates solutions for nursing home abuse

In Mississippi and other parts of the United States, nursing home neglect is a common occurrence. Two women recently reported instances of abuse toward their elderly mothers. After reading their report, the United States Senate Committee on Finance decided to hold an official hearing about nursing home neglect. Legislators were angered over the reports about nursing home abuse occurring in facilities across the country. Many of these situations could have been prevented.

One woman told officials about her dehydrated mother who was in constant pain. She said that her mother had probably been experiencing nursing home abuse for a long time. Nursing home residents are defenseless when faced with instances involving physical abuse or neglect. Many nursing homes exist under dangerous and unsanitary conditions; nursing homes are often filled with caregivers who demonstrate no compassion for elderly individuals. One woman's frail mother was immobile and had experienced dementia for several years. The daughter received a phone call informing her that her elderly mother had been molested by a caregiver.

Many rural nursing homes do not receive Medicaid reimbursement. These nursing homes are forced to shut down because they do not have the money to continue their services. In addition, numerous nursing homes experience a shortage of caregivers. Dr. David Gifford, an advocate for nursing home reform, suggests that nursing homes join a national bank for practitioners. The data bank could identify potential staff members who already have criminal backgrounds in other states.

Nursing homes are expected to provide a reasonable standard of care. A person who suspects that their loved one is experiencing nursing home neglect may wish to contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer may help a victim's family to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.

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