If you have to place your loved one in a skilled nursing facility, you should familiarize yourself with common forms of nursing home abuse. If you suspect any problems in care, contact an attorney who understands the laws regarding nursing home resident rights.

 

Mississippi provides 205 certified Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes. These nursing homes have a total of 18,305 available beds for skilled nursing residents and an overall average Medicare 5 Star Quality rating of 3.1 which ranks 44th nationally, meaning some work could be done to improve care and standards. According to the 2018 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of skilled nursing in Mississippi is $6,692 per month for a semi-private room.  This is a lot of money to pay if your loved one is not being attended to properly.

Common types of nursing home abuse.

Nursing home abuse covers acts that inflict injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with the result of physical harm or pain or mental anguish, or deprivation by an individual, including a caretaker, of goods or services that are necessary to attain or maintain physical, mental and psychosocial well-being as well as acts of negligence that cause or exacerbate existing health conditions.

  1. Verbal abuse – The directed use of oral, written language or improper gestures that include critical, offensive and belittling terms to residents or their families, or where they can be heard even when a resident cannot comprehend such abuse including: 1) threats of harm or scaring them through fabricated stories.
  2. Sexual abuse – sexual harassment, sexual coercion or sexual assault.
  3. Physical abuse – to hit, slap, pinch or kick or affect control by the threat of corporal punishment.
  4. Mental abuse – humiliation, harassment, threatening punishment or deprivation, and gas lighting.
  5. Involuntary seclusion – Separating a resident from other residents taking them from their personal space, or even confinement to his room (with/without roommates) against the resident’s will, or the will of the resident’s legal representative.
  6. Unintentional Abuse – warning signs may include developing bed sores due to failure to change the victim’s sheets and/or regularly reposition the resident to improve circulation, exacerbation of conditions like diabetes due to changes in medication, diet and exercise, frequent falls, or poor hygiene such as bathing or brushing teeth.

Resident rights.

Under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV, nursing home laws protect the residents of nursing homes to make certain they attain mental, physical and psychosocial well-being while living in a care facility, and address operational and staffing requirements to make certain residents have support they need while receiving adequate care.

Federal nursing home laws state that residents are entitled to receive:

  • Medically-related social services
  • Proper health care, such as primary and dental care
  • Accurate dispensing, receipt, and administration of medicines and drugs
  • Dietary services that meet daily nutritional needs of each patient
  • Special services for mentally ill or retarded residents
  • Personal, material, and financial privacy when requested
  • Treatment that does not violate the resident’s dignity or respect

Violations of resident rights could lead to punitive damages.

Residents or families can sue for monetary compensation for an injury resulting from abuse, neglect, or accidents such as a fall from a bed accident and receive punitive damages for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Report nursing home abuse.

If you suspect Mississippi nursing home abuse, report your suspicions immediately to a law enforcement official. You may also contact the Mississippi Department of Health, and Long-Term Care Ombudsman to report abuse of older adults by calling their hotline at 844-437-6282, the Mississippi Department of Human Services at 844-437-6282, and/or the Attorney General’s Vulnerable Adult Unit at 601-359-4158 or mail to P.O. Box 220, Jackson, MS 39205-0220.

Hire an attorney.

The lawyers at Williams Newman Williams PLLC, in Jackson, Mississippi are experienced in the signs of nursing home abuse and will represent your loved one to make sure the personal injury or damages are remedied in accordance with Mississippi and Federal laws.

JACKSON OFFICE
129B South President Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Toll Free: 800-558-4208
Phone: 601-208-0343
Fax: 601-949-3358

Sources.

http://www.mdhs.ms.gov/adults-seniors/adult-protective-services/

http://www.ago.state.ms.us/divisions/vulnerable-adult-unit/

https://www.medicarelist.com/nursing-homes/ms/

https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/42,0,241.html