States Across The Country Take Steps To Prevent and Prosecute Nursing Home Abuse

More states are taking elder abuse seriously as the awareness of elder neglect and abuse grows. This week three states have made big steps toward increasing accountability and consequences of such actions.

One state's Governor signed legislation this week that is designed to improve nursing home patient safety. Among other things, the bill will force nursing homes to hire more staff and require the state to hire more people to investigate suspected nursing home abuse. The bill also has features built in to prevent financial abuse toward nursing home residents, and to require background checks of employees working with the elderly. For more on this story, read it here.

A second state has asked their Cabinet for Health and Family Services to oversee nursing home abuse reporting. The state hopes that with the help of the cabinet they will more efficiently handle abuse cases. Recently the state reported that a significantly low number of nursing home abuse cases we actually being prosecuted. The proposed legislation is an attempt to make prosecuting a more common practice in abuse cases. For more on this story, read it here.

 Lastly, one state is encouraging its resident to use to more than 22 protective service agencies established by Elder Affairs in the state to report all suspected elder abuse cases. The protective services regional manager for the state Executive Office of Elder Affairs said signs of neglect or self-neglect include hoarding, excessive clutter, noticeably poor hygiene and evident nutritional problems, Fielding said. He encouraged anyone with a concern about an elderly person, even if they are uncertain, to call the state's Elder Abuse Hotline. For more on this story, read it here.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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