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November 20th, 2012

Although the official release reports aren’t due out until July, local news companies are questioning North Carolina’s ratings among nursing homes after several complaints of nursing home abuse .

In an investigation performed by ABC News of Raleigh, several nursing homes in North Carolina’s largest counties have been found to be providing substandard services to its residents, including filthy living conditions and poor care that puts residents at risk for severe infections, including death.

Jane Maves, the daughter of a resident of a local nursing home, stated that the quality of care was so poor at Sunnybrook Nursing Home, that her mother died while under staff care:

“It just broke my heart. It was just so sad to see her not getting the care she needed, the care she deserved.”

Ironically, Maves took extra care to ensure that her mother was sent to one of the leading nursing homes in the state. According to Medicare, Sunnybrook received a rating of 4 out of 5 during its last report; making it one of the top-rated nursing homes in North Carolina. However, investigations show that Sunnybrook has been fined over $200,000 by the state in the past for nursing home abuse and neglect. Yet, in a 77-page investigation report, the only evidence Medicare provided was a few general complaints that were pushed under the rug. In defense, Medicare stated that the official results of nursing home abuse would not be available until July of next year. This, however, doesn’t lessen the pain of loved ones and victims who have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing homes.

Additionally, investigators looked into the highest-rated nursing homes in North Carolina, and found that most of the ratings are not up to par with the services provided. Typical violations found at the nursing homes were cold temperatures, neglect, failure to report abuse, and failure to report neglect. In fact, many residents suffered from hypothermia when left in nursing homes with an average temperature of 45 degrees.

Loved ones like Maves, however, have options. In the state of North Carolina, as with most other states, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims and loved ones file for damages. Although the abuse has been done, a lawsuit will help loved ones recover medical bills, pain, suffering and loss, as well as expose nursing homes that continue to abuse residents.

Source: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/abc11_investigates&id=8878910

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