Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Spikes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Aug 15, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse
Since January 2020, more than 150,000 nursing home residents have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last two years, the risks of COVID-19 in nursing homes have received considerable national media attention, but the pandemic may have also led to other circumstances that put nursing home residents at risk.
If you lost a family member who was living in an Oregon nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Contact a Rizk Law Oregon nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today for a free review of your situation.
What You Should Know About Nursing Home Abuse in Oregon During COVID-19
Countless nursing home deaths since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic may actually be linked to abuse and neglect by care facility staff. One nursing home expert working for the Associate Press analyzed data from 15,000 long-term care facilities across the nation and estimated that for every two COVID-19 nursing home deaths, there was another death tied to premature causes.
An estimated 40,000 nursing home residents fell victim to these excess deaths between March 2020 to November 2020. This fatality rate is roughly 15% higher than expected for long-term care facilities that are already facing tens of thousands of deaths each month.
Between the increased responsibility, stress, and diminishing staff, care facility workers are stretched thinner and thinner each day, leaving many feeling both overworked and overwhelmed. When nursing homes are understaffed and workers are stressed, neglect and abuse are more likely to occur.
How COVID-19 Contributes to Nursing Home Abuse
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of nursing home abuse and neglect in Oregon have risen. Complaints include:
- Residents were left in dirty diapers until their skin peeled off
- Residents with bedsores so deep their bones are exposed
- Residents suffering from deteriorating mental health because of prolonged isolation, due to a lack of visits from family and other loved ones
The healthcare system operates on thin margins. In times of crisis, such as a pandemic, they may lack the resources to handle the issue adequately because there are not usually enough people to look after the facility’s residents.
When comparing mortality rates at nursing homes ravaged by COVID-19 with ones that were pardoned, it was found that the more the virus spread through a facility, the more deaths were recorded for other reasons. For example, in care facilities where at least 30% of residents had contracted the virus, the rate of death from causes other than the virus was twice what it normally would have been without the pandemic.
This data suggests that the care of residents who did not contract the virus may have been compromised. Workers were likely preoccupied with caring for residents suffering from COVID-19, or the facility was left short-staffed as the virus infected employees.
Can an Oregon Nursing Home Be Held Responsible for Abuse During COVID-19?
Understaffed nursing homes and neglectful employees can be held accountable for negligence in Oregon. Seek a fair settlement for the death of a loved one caused by nursing home abuse with a Rizk Law personal injury attorney today.
To set up your free case evaluation, contact our office in Portland, Oregon, today by calling (503) 245-5677 or sending us a completed contact form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.