Nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than many people realize. To protect their reputations and avoid fines, nursing homes will do anything possible to hide violations from the public. Furthermore, many instances of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported. To protect their loved ones in managed care, families have to diligently check to ensure that nursing home staff members are performing their jobs correctly. Here are five common violations found at nursing home facilities that family members should keep in mind when visiting.
As we get older, our bones become weaker, and falling becomes much more dangerous. Nursing homes have an obligation to keep their facilities clear of hazards that could cause potential accidents. This is one of the most commonly cited violations for nursing homes because it can easily occur when workers aren’t paying attention to where things are placed. In a database that looked at more than 250,000 incident reports, accident hazards were the most commonly cited violation.
Inadequate Care for Patients
The main reason people put their loved ones in nursing homes is the fact that the senior needs a level of care that can’t be provided at home. Unfortunately, another common violation is for facilities that fail to “provide the necessary care for highest practicable well-being.” This category covers many aspects. Nursing home staff need to provide residents with physical necessities, as well as create opportunities to promote good emotional health.
Unsanitary Food Conditions
In some ways, a nursing home is like several facilities in one. There are medical considerations, housing issues, and food safety concerns. Food safety takes on additional significance when it involves older adults. A person with a weakened immune system may get sick from food that isn’t kept in proper conditions. Food issues can lead to the patients being malnourished, which can result in other conditions, such as reduced recovery, bedsores, loss of body weight, etc.
Inadequate Record Keeping
Nursing homes are responsible for the care of a large number of patients, all of whom have individual care routines designed for that patient. When nursing homes are careless with paperwork, patients can miss medication doses, be given the wrong medication, or worse. There have even been extreme cases when the wrong person is given surgery or receives an amputation. In the database of a quarter-million violations cited above, facilities that didn’t have clinical records that meet professional standards were mentioned nearly 8,000 times.
Improper Medication Procedures
A potential issue that faces nursing homes is overmedicating their residents. It’s vital to give patients the medicine they need, but it’s not uncommon for nursing home residents to end up with more medication than is necessary. This is bad because unnecessary medication can’t hurt recovery efforts and wastes money that is coming from an insurance company, the government, or family members. On the other end of the spectrum, nursing homes can end up being negligent in providing the appropriate medicine to a patient. For example, a doctor changes a patient’s dosage, but the change isn’t made by the staff members who give out the dosage.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways for residents in nursing homes to become victims of elder abuse and neglect. To protect your loved ones in managed care, be sure to visit them often to see the facility and to talk to them about any concerns they have about the location. If you have any questions about nursing home abuse and neglect, contact the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A.