West Palm Beach has a large elderly population. Are workers in hospitals and nursing homes trustworthy?

While many senior citizens end up in hospitals and nursing homes at some point in their lives, the care that they receive in these places is often far from perfect. Patients do contract infections and diseases while housed in facilities that contain many sick people at the same time. Employees and even doctors are also more likely to make mistakes in these settings because of the large number of people under their care at one time..

There are stories of deliberate forms of misconduct in some care facilities. Local news for West Palm Beach covered an incident where a hidden camera was installed in a medical center restroom.

Camera found in medical center bathroom

The police who responded to the scene found that it contained images of various parts of an empty bathroom, and was possibly moved from another facility before being installed in the location where it was found. One of the images shows an employee ID, which may help law enforcement find the person responsible, however local police are asking for tips from any members of the public who have more information.

St. Mary’s Medical Center also released a statement that they notified the police and all of their employees as soon as the camera was found. They plan on cooperating with the investigation as completely as possible. A tip line was provided for anyone who wishes to contact the police with information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.

Nursing home abuse

Nursing home neglect and mistreatment has also been an issue in the national news. Many elderly people begin to experience declines in health due to the number of people staying in these homes at any given time, along with shortages of employees and high staff turnover. There have also been incidents where nurses and aides in these homes have been charged criminally for purposely mistreating the elderly. As these kinds of stories become mainstays in the media, it is understandable that some people would be reluctant to place their family members in a nursing home for long-term care.

Some homes have also been cited by regulatory boards for consistent problems during and after inspections. When this happens, they are given probationary status and a certain timeframe to correct their inadequacies, otherwise they will no longer be able to receive medicaid funding and must cease operations. Basic research through the internet shows that many homes are currently not up to the standards set out by relevant administrative boards, and a large number of facilities around the country continue to operate while on probationary status.

What are some alternative forms of care?

An option that is growing in popularity is for elderly or injured family members to receive treatment without having to leave the comfort of their homes. Nurses who have the same licenses and training as those in hospitals are available to provide various services through a company that specializes in private duty care. This can be more cost effective and avoid problems such as nursing home abuse and sickness.

Companies who provide these services allow a family to develop a relationship with their healthcare provider and offer more flexibility regarding when they choose to receive help, rather than having to deal with appointments at a doctor’s office or hospital. Private Duty Services allow your loved one to be independent in the comfort of their own home while receiving professional care.  It also allows an opportunity for your loved one to have a new companion in their life.  Should you decide to use our Private Duty Services, we will align a caregiver with the appropriate qualificatiions and skills to meet your loved ones needs.

The verification process

One of the best ways to prevent neglect and abuse is to make sure only professionals with a clear background are hired and allowed to come into contact with patients. First at Home uses a process to verify all employees and check their professional credentials as well as their criminal history before they are ever sent to a customer’s home. The nurses and caregivers who provide private duty services have been checked as thoroughly as any employee in a hospital or nursing home.

First at home is a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency.  We are also licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) and accredited by the local healthcare commission. We are one of a select few Home Care Agencies to be chosen to participate with Home Care Elite which is an annual compilation of the best home care agencies.  Keep in mind that all legitimate healthcare employees and service providers are subject to various kinds of oversight and government regulation. It is important to make sure that you choose a home care agency with the best credentials and outcomes for your loved one.

Get help from a nurse in the West Palm Beach area

If you are interested in learning more about Home Health Care services or private duty services, contact First at Home. In-Home care allows us to provide a number of services that allow seniors and those suffering with chronic illness to stay in the comfort of their own homes, rather than being committed to lower quality care at a nursing home or hospital.