Is Nursing Home Abuse Really That Common?
According to a recent study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home abuse is prevalent among nursing homes in the United States. The study took a look at 5,283 homes and found nearly 9,000 cases of abuse during a two year period. Common issues involved bedsores, dehydration, inadequate care, malnutrition and preventable accidents. Many of the residents in the homes experienced injury due to the abuse.
For-Profit Nursing Homes Receiving Federal Funds
The nursing homes outlined in the study for instances of abuse house more than half a million people. Across the United States, there are about 1.6 million living in 17,000 nursing homes. Of these homes, about 11,000 of them are for-profit residences. The study outlines that the federal government contributes to the nursing home industry across the country. The federal contributions are mostly in the form of Medicaid payments used to pay for residence in nursing homes by the elderly and the disabled.
While national health and safety standards are in place to ensure that nursing home residents are protected from abuse, enforcement of these standards through inspections is left to individual states.
Money Plays a Key Role
Representatives of the nursing home industry blame abuse problems to the difficulty they experience in finding, hiring and keeping qualified staff to care for the residents. Anne Burns Johnson, CEO of the California Association of Homes & Services for the Aging, states that “In California also, we don’t have enough licensed vocational nurses, and we don’t have enough working aides or certified nursing assistants. There are not enough people entering the field. And so staffing becomes more complicated when you can’t even hire people.” According to Burns Johnson, “The reimbursements are low compared to what the residents’ needs are.” Insufficient funding makes it difficult to hire qualified personnel.
Not For Profit Homes
Burns Johnson also maintains that not for profit homes can provide a higher level of care to their residents. She says, “Most of our facilities are small, community-based and religious-based.”
Kelley Queale, Director of Communications for the California Association of Health Facilities, says for-profit homes can offer similar care levels but she explains that not for profit residences may have more staff, more volunteers and more funding. She cautions that regardless of the funding model, families should carefully research the reputation of any nursing home that they are considering for a loved one.
If you have questions about nursing home abuse in Frisco, TX contact Reynolds & Reynolds law firm at 214-891-6606 today!
Reynolds & Reynolds Law Firm | Nursing Home Abuse Frisco TX | 214-891-6606