Lexington residents may be aware that earlier this year the federal government announced its goal of abolishing prohibitions on pre-dispute arbitration clauses in contracts. In such a contract, residents of care facilities or their families agree to undergo arbitration before they can file a lawsuit, even if there is no dispute yet. These contracts can be applicable even if the victim has been subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect.
According to a CNN investigation, a drug meant to be given only to those with a rare health condition is being wrongfully used in nursing homes in a manner that is not only unnecessary, but is even dangerous. The drug, Nuedexta, is used to treat pseudobulbar affect, which causes a person to laugh or cry uncontrollably. Less than 1 percent of individuals in the United States have this disorder, and they are mainly those who suffer from other conditions, such as Lou Gehrig's disease or multiple sclerosis.
How many of us use Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat on a daily basis? Many people in Kentucky use these apps on their smartphones frequently, and sometimes do not give much thought to how their posts will affect others. However, this can be a dangerous situation.
Kentucky residents residing in nursing homes are among our vulnerable population. They are often unable to care for their daily needs, the may be mentally incapacitated and they may suffer from physical ailments. We count on nursing homes to provide quality care for their residents, but unfortunately instances of nursing home abuse and neglect occur all too frequently. In what is disturbing news, according to a government audit over 25 percent of possible incidents of physical and sexual abuse in nursing homes are not reported to police. This is despite a federal law that mandates police be immediately notified of such incidents.
It is an unfortunate fact that sometimes our most vulnerable individuals are taken advantage of, neglected or even abused by those who are tasked with caring for them. When we place a loved one in a nursing home, we hope that they will take good care of our loved one. However, nursing home abuse and neglect does occur. It is important, then, for people in Lexington to understand what risk factors contribute to elder abuse.
People in Lexington who enter a nursing home naturally expect that they will receive quality care. Unfortunately, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect do happen. When they do, residents or their families may want to pursue legal action. However, can a nursing home make arbitration mandatory as a condition of admittance?
Working with people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease has its challenges. However, these individuals still deserve to be treated with care and respect. Kentucky residents may be concerned to hear that some nursing home staff fail to properly care for those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease and, instead, simply sedate these residents with antipsychotic drugs, a practice that can be very dangerous.