Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Arkansas generally have a poor track record when it comes to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of residents and temporary patients. It seems like you hear stories of understaffing, neglect, and outright abuse in Arkansas nursing homes on a weekly basis. But many elderly individuals and family members don’t understand that objective physical abuse isn’t the only qualifier for mistreatment. Indeed, Arkansas law allows for individuals to file claims, complaints, and even seek criminal prosecution in cases involving:
- Medication errors
- And even mistakes
Two recent cases in Arkansas highlight the differences (and very real similarities) between outright intentional physical, verbal, or emotional nursing home abuse and neglect or carelessness.
Facility-Wide Scabies Outbreak Blamed on Neglect in Nursing Home
In January of this year, a southern Arkansas nursing home was cited for neglect after a small outbreak of scabies spread to the entire facility and into the surrounding town. Officials at Longmeadow Nursing Care in Camden were called on the carpet by state agencies in charge of regulating nursing homes and other assisted living facilities after they not only failed to adequately treat a small outbreak of this highly contagious skin condition (caused by near-microscopic parasites), but actively sought to keep the outbreak under wraps.
The state found that the facility mishandled the primary outbreak by:
- Failing to isolate infected residents;
- Failing to treat staff members who had become infected after coming into contact with infected residents;
- Failing to keep any records or post any notices concerning the scabies outbreak.
In the end, every single resident in the facility and many residents of the town in which the facility is located became infected.
The State Office of Long Term Care gave the facility the lowest possible rating on its 12-point scale—putting future public funding from Medicare and Medicaid on hold.
There was no specific physical abuse cited in this Arkansas nursing home incident, but the combined negligence of administrators and staff led to significant physical, emotional, and psychological discomfort.
Nurse Accused of Neglect in Arkansas Nursing Home
In yet another case of nursing home abuse in Arkansas, a nurse was arrested in Saline County after allegedly mishandling multiple patients’ medications. The results of a two-month-long investigation reveal that a nurse employed by the nursing home allegedly failed to give several residents multiple doses of their required medications, and delivered several doses hours after the dose should have been administered. Thankfully nobody was injured due to this careless woman’s negligence, but she was charged with 14 counts of abuse and neglect anyway.
This story very closely mirrors many of the cases of neglect in Arkansas nursing homes that come to light only after residents of their family members take such matters to officials and media outlets outside the nursing home itself. Often when concerns are raised “in-house” very little is done to address the underlying problems, leaving family members frustrated and nursing home residents in potential danger.
When You Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Arkansas
If you suspect abuse or neglect, call an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Arkansas to get results. Abuse of our elderly loved ones and friends should not be tolerated….ever.
YOU are the voice of your loved ones and other nursing home residents. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of abuse in an Arkansas nursing home, TAKE ACTION NOW. Talk to the administrator and employees. Tell them your concerns and demand results. Document your conversations with each person and follow through to make sure the issues are resolved timely. Visit your loved ones regularly and observe their environment. You are their eyes and ears.
If you have questions, contact an experienced abuse lawyer at the Pfeifer Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Don’t wait another minute if you suspect abuse. Reach out online or call 501-374-4440.