The family members of one woman who lived in a nursing home were utterly disgusted when they learned that the woman had to have 57 maggots removed from her left ear. What level of care was the 92-year-old woman receiving (or not receiving) if this situation was allowed to not only happen, but to persist for days? Looking for answers to this question and others, the family has recently filed a lawsuit against the facility for nursing home neglect.
This type of neglect is one of the worst fears that families in Tennessee have when they decide to move an elderly family member into a nursing home. We hope that they will be treated with dignity and receive the level of care that they deserve. Sadly, too many of these vulnerable patients are mistreated, abused and neglected by staff members. To make matters worse, families often have to pay large sums of money for care that is ultimately substandard.
In this case, the woman suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and cannot speak or take care of herself. Over a week before the maggots were discovered in her ear, the woman was being treated for a buildup of wax in her ear canal. She was prescribed drops for the condition, but it wasn’t until 9 days later that a staff member noticed the woman was still bothered by her ear. Eventually, they discovered larvae in the ear and finally admitted her to the hospital. Experts estimate that the maggots had been in her ear for three days.
The woman’s family has been understandably very upset by the situation. They transferred her immediately to a different facility and filed a lawsuit for the negligence and distress the woman was subjected to.
Elderly patients in nursing homes often have difficulty communicating and frequently suffer from cognitive limitations and memory loss. Because of this, some people believe they can get away with abusing or neglecting them. However, family members can take action against these extremely careless parties with the help of an attorney. Besides compensation, a lawsuit against these types of facilities can offer victims and families a sense of justice and protect others from suffering the same type of mistreatment.
Source: CBS News, “92-year-old has 57 maggots removed from ear, family sues nursing home,” Ryan Jaslow, Nov. 30, 2012