Nursing Home Abuse in Maine
The National Center in Elder Abuse estimates that one in ten seniors in the U.S. is abused or neglected by caregivers. That equates to a high number of people over the age of 65 who are being harmed purposely through ill-treatment and neglect.
A Cornell University study “Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study,” found that elder victims of abuse, neglect, or self-neglect face a significantly higher risk of dying prematurely.
In the same study, researchers found that the cases of elder were “24 times higher than incidents reported to social services, police or legal authorities.”
Because nursing home abuse is so detrimental and demoralizing, Maine families and caregivers must choose a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Choosing a Maine nursing home
The single most important thing a caregiver can do to protect an older adult from abuse and neglect is to choose a nursing home carefully.
Common traits of bad nursing homes:
High number of minor and severe deficiencies
Low staff-to-resident ratio
High employee turnover
Low ratings with the CMS Nursing Home Compare.
If you need to find a Maine nursing home, the first step you need to take is to make a list of facilities you are considering and check their ratings with state and federal agencies. For ratings contact the following:
Maine Long-term Care Ombudsman:
61 Winthrop St
Augusta, ME 04330
1-800-499-0229 or (207) 621-1079
Or, visit CMS Nursing Home Compare: https://www.medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare/About/HowWeCalculate.html
You can find out if any facilities you are considering have any deficiencies, and get results of health inspections, see the rate of medication errors, and patient deaths by contacting the above agencies. You can also get a staff-to-patient ratio which dramatically influences the care a resident receives.
Things to look for in an ideal nursing home:
Close proximity to a relative of primary caregiver
High ratios of registered nurses
Checking a nursing home’s ratings is not the only way to check on a nursing home, you should also visit a facility at several keys times to gauge the staffing levels. Busy times such as morning and lunchtime or late at night are good times to visit.
What to do if your loved one is abused or neglected in Maine
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home contact the one or more of the following agencies:
To report nursing home abuse and neglect in Maine contact one of the following state agencies:
Bureau of Elder and Adult Services
Nationwide 24-hour, toll-free 1-800-624-8404
Department of Health and Human Services, contact information:
Toll-free Statewide 1-800-383-2441
Local (207) 287-9308 / TTY 1-800-606-0215
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect are entitled to compensation for their medical costs associated with their abuse or neglect. We recommend you set up a consultation with one of our nursing home abuse lawyers in Maine to see if your loved one is entitled to a nursing home abuse settlement.