The family of an 82-year-old woman whose bedsores contributed to her death is suing the assisted-living home in which she lived. The family has charged the company that owns and operates numerous facilities with elderly abuse and wrongful death. People in Tennessee and others throughout the U.S. should be aware of the reality of nursing home neglect so that they may advocate for loved ones living in the facilities.
The woman, who developed Alzheimer’s disease in her last years, was a former teacher as well as a wife and mother. Because of the Alzheimer’s, her family moved her to an assisted-living environment, but when her conditioned worsened and she was moved to a nursing home three months later, it was discovered she had bed sores, some having developed into open wounds. The bed sores, or “pressure ulcers” were on her right hip, her feet and inside her right elbow. Just over three months after being moved out of the facility where she developed the sores, the woman died. Doctors said that the severity of the bed sores were a significant contributor to her death.
An attorney for the family states the chain of assisted-living homes has but one objective: becoming the largest such chain in the world. She further asserts their focus is solely on increasing revenues and expanding in the marketplace even going so far as breaking laws designed to protect the elderly. She further says the woman was ill to the extent she should not have been accepted as a patient by the facility, which is said to be notably understaffed. On some nights there was no staff working the overnight shift in the memory care unit.
This type of negligence and corner-cutting is tragically common. Too many people believe that they can take advantage of fragile and vulnerable patients in the interest of making more money. When a loved one is neglected or abused in the very environment that promises to care for them, family members and victims have the right to hold a careless party accountable for their reprehensible actions.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Suit: Facility let woman ‘waste away’,” Andy Furillo, Feb. 17, 2013