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 in this Arkansas nursing home 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 Melanie Burns allegedly failed to give multiple residents multiple doses of their required medications and delivered several doses hours after they should have been. 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 your loved one is the victim of abuse in an Arkansas nursing home and your cries for help to the facility administrators and the government agencies in charge of assisted living oversite are going unnoticed, you may need the assistance of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Arkansas to get the justice and just compensation your family deserves. Our firm is committed to stop nursing home abuse.
Contact the Pfeifer Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Reach out online or call 501-374-4440 right now. Weekend and after-hours appointments are available upon request. You pay us only when we recover for you.