The Investigative Reporters and Editors competition is a prestigious award for journalists who delve into topics that many people just want to ignore. This year, reporters for Penn Live won the award for their 2016 investigation into nursing home injuries and deaths in the state of Pennsylvania. The six-part investigation opened thousands of eyes to the dangers present in nursing homes.
It should come as no surprise that some degree of abuse takes place in many facilities. Combining a lack of oversight with vulnerable individuals is likely to lead to abuse taking place. But the sheer breadth of what was exposed in these investigations was terrifying, and the extent to which nursing homes covered up their crimes was shocking.
Anyone with a family in a skilled nursing facility or elderly care facility should read the full reports, which details hundreds of instances of abuse and neglect. Untreated bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration were commonplace, as was indifference to fall concerns and other safety hazards. Medications were not properly administered and documented.
It is impossible to know how many injuries were suffered due to negligence, but the investigators discovered at least 46 deaths that were caused by staff. The patterns of behavior across personnel and facilities were astounding. The investigators revealed that these were not isolated incidents at a small number of nursing homes. These were common problems at a lot of places across the entire state. And it is reasonable to assume that if these problems exist in Pennsylvania, they exist in other states as well.
If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, your eyes have been opened to the dangers presented by many of these establishments. But you still might be shocked at just how widespread the abuse and neglect are. Please contact an experienced attorney who can help you hold these facilities accountable.