The Arc of Northwest Indiana maintains several group homes for the intellectually disabled in Indiana. Generally, these group homes offer a safe and pleasant environment, increasing the quality of the residents’ lives. However, this week, a Post-Tribune story reported that approximately 90 group-home residents were forced to relocate after the homes in which they were staying were decertified by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and the Indiana State Department of Health.
The group homes were decertified because of reports that the homes were not adequately caring for their residents. Just a few weeks ago, the FSSA and Indiana State Department of Health decertified three of the Arc’s group homes and required the organization make certain personnel changes because the care being provided to the residents was not adequate. A report dated August 16 explained that:
The governing body failed to ensure the facility’s nursing services met the health care needs of clients, [and] the governing body failed to ensure the facility initiated investigations of all allegations of neglect when informed, conducted thorough investigations and/or implemented corrective measures.
Initially, officials had another organization step in to care for the residents. However, recently those same officials determined that it would be best to relocate the residents altogether. Seven residents have moved in with family members while the remainder were sent to other facilities.
Nursing and Group Homes’ Responsibilities
Group homes, like nursing homes and hospitals, are well-paid to care for those who, for a variety of reasons, cannot care for themselves. By taking in residents for compensation, these organizations have a legal duty to ensure that their residents are well taken care of. In too many cases-like the one above-Indiana group homes are negligent, reckless, or worse, in the care they provide to their residents.
Just a few examples of negligent of abusive behavior are:
- any form of physical, sexual, verbal, or mental abuse
- failure to assist a resident with bathing
- failure to assist a resident with eating/drinking
- inadequate or nonexistent dental care
- poor sanitation
Abuse and Neglect in Group Homes and Nursing Homes
Instances of group and nursing home abuse are underreported due to the limited contact the patient population has with those outside the home. However, the statistics that are reported are grim; it is estimated that up to 10% of nursing home residents are abused at some point, and one in three nursing homes have been reported for abuse.
The statistics regarding group or nursing home neglect are quite stark as well. About 90% of nursing homes are understaffed with over 20,000 complaints of neglect each year. Indeed, the profit motive of nursing and group home incentives provides minimum care while accepting the maximum amount of residents.
Nursing Home Law Suits
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation based on the facility’s failure to provide adequate care. Unless victims speak up and hold nursing and group homes responsible for their negligent or abusive conduct, the homes will continue to treat residents with impunity.
The Indiana law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson is experienced in nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse cases. One of the firm’s experienced attorneys can help you decide what rights you may have after discussing the specific facts of your cases. Click here to schedule a free initial consultation online, or call 866-987-7277.
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