A man killed his wife at his home and then proceeded to a nursing home where his ailing sister was living. He killed her as well, and then surrendered to police. According to the police, both killings were “mercy killings” in the mind of the perpetrator.
The wife, who was still living at home, was suffering from dementia. His sister, living in the nearby Country Villa Sheraton Nursing home, had been in a coma for years and required constant care.
This is far from the first “mercy killing” in a nursing home this year. In fact, just last month a Florida man killed himself along with his wife who was suffering from dementia. The wife had been living in a nursing facility when the husband brought her home and killed them both.
There were several similar cases earlier this year as well.
There are two parts to this problem. The first part is that many seniors fear that nursing homes are rife with nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. The second part is that, to a large extent, they’re right.
Both of the incidents I’ve referenced here are similar in that the killings did not take place before the spouse was placed in the nursing home. They took place after. Clearly, the nursing homes failed to impress the spouses of the victims with the quality of their care.
The retirement of the baby boom generation is going to greatly increase the number of people who require nursing home care. Unless steps are taken to ensure that nursing home residents are receiving quality care, I fear this is only the beginning.
Currently, nursing home ownership is like a hidden shell game. The purpose of this is clear: to hide profits and protect from litigation. Low staffing levels are the key to high profits and poor care. Currently, understaffing is an extraordinarily profitable business model because fines are generally only enforced in the event of an injury or other ailment that requires a formal report to be made to state or federal regulators.
Several steps could immediately have a positive impact on the lives of nursing home residents: Transparent ownership, fines sufficient to make understaffing unprofitable, and monitored video surveillance.
These rules will make operating nursing homes less profitable. They will also make nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse less common since most acts of nursing home neglect are a result of understaffing.
In the meantime, the best way to disrupt the profitability of nursing homes that commit nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect is to contact an experienced nursing home attorney when you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse. At the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, you can speak to me or one of my colleagues for no fee and no obligation. At my law offices, we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.