It seems overwhelming, more than 4,200 residents died from COVID-19 complications in Massachusetts’ long-term care facilities. Recently, Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health released this data, and Attorney General Maura Healey announced investigations into the cases at each of the state’s facilities, but it could take years to parse through all this tragedy.
In a lot of these cases, elderly neglect in long-term facilities may be the culprit. One of the most at-risk communities in America is the elderly and infirmed. If you or a loved one has suffered because of elderly abuse or neglect, reach out for help from the Boston personal injury attorneys at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C.
Since the pandemic began in the United States, around 8% of people living in a long-term-care facility have died of COVID-19. That is nearly 1 in 12, and in nursing homes, the ratio is nearly 1 in 10. In Massachusetts, the COVID death rate in nursing homes was 90 times that of the statewide death rate.
According to the Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health records, 13 long-term care centers account for 237 COVID-19 related deaths.
Recently, Governor Charlie Baker signed a law granting immunity from civil liability to certain healthcare facilities. This becomes a serious hurdle for relatives who believe a family member died or suffered from the virus because of negligence.
Residents of long-term care should still have the same rights as everyone else. The elderly or infirmed should be protected from potential health risks, and protocols should be in place for emergency conditions like a pandemic.
The National Center on Elder Abuse reports elder abuse is suffered by one out of 10 people over the age of 60 in America. This statistic does not tell the whole story because sadly elder abuse goes unreported. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put into focus the disparity of neglect suffered by residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Whether it be from inadequate staffing or unpreparedness, this pandemic has shown just how vulnerable the elderly and infirmed are just by being in contact with their neighbor, visitors, nurses, attendees, and doctors. In a lot of these cases, the infected were misdiagnosed and not treated properly.
It is fortunate the state is investigating a lot of these cases because often, elderly victims of abuse or neglect do not report the incidents out of fear of retaliation from nursing home employees or individuals. Some of the victims may not be able to communicate because of cognitive or physical disabilities.
In elderly neglect cases, it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side, an attorney who has handled hundreds of nursing home injury and wrongful death cases. It is a deep betrayal to find out your loved one has been neglected or harmed by the people you trusted to care for them.
We are here to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions or inactions and find justice for our clients and their families. Contact the Boston elderly abuse and neglect attorneys at Colucci Colucci & Marcus, P.C. for a free consultation or by calling 617-917-3917 to review your case.