Issues regarding mistreatment and neglect of elderly people in nursing homes and other assisted care facilities have become national news. It is important to realize that these facilities are often understaffed and short on resources, which tends to exacerbate any existing health problems when patients cannot receive proper treatment.
Numerous states have received failing grades related to the quality of treatment that people in nursing homes receive. Some homes have been cited for filthy living conditions and employees who deliberately hurt the elderly. Even worse, some homes that are given a kind of probationary status from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are still allowed to function even after numerous violations.
The Worst Offenders
There is a difficult situation present in many of these homes where constant violations and budget issues are fixed just barely enough to keep the facility operational. There are even “special focus facilities” that have been subject to fines or other citations, yet they are allowed to operate while they are monitored. A public list of the worst homes has been published annually over the last several years, leading many to believe that the problem must be widespread if it is getting attention that essentially amounts to publicly shaming providers. Government regulations and inspections have become much more strict for these offenders in an effort to try to fix the problem and prevent other facilities from descending to a level where they are just barely compliant enough to operate.
How designations work
These facilities need to have more total violations than other facilities, more serious problems, and a pattern of inspection problems that has lasted for at least three years before they receive the special focus designation. After six months, if some of the problems are not fixed, the facility may be terminated from the Medicare or Medicaid programs and no longer allowed to operate. The positive news is that many homes who receive this special designation do make some noticeable improvements within the first year or two of being placed on the list. They are also inspected and watched more closely while they receive this designation in order to avoid further problems or complications.
One example of problems
One home in Philadelphia was cited for physically restraining patients when not necessary to do so, failing to treat or prevent bed sores, not storing or allowing residents to access their personal money in a safe manner, and not properly storing or serving food in addition to dozens of other violations. Injuries and preventable illnesses are common in these kinds of facilities. This is especially true when a home experiences high turnover of employees, with many who simply do not care about the quality of care that they give to patients.
The most common general advice given regarding consistent medical care for elderly family members is to check into a facility or business before committing to their services and entrusting them with a loved ones life. There should be information online that is easily accessible regarding violations or other red flags that should direct you to look elsewhere.
Keeping a family member out of nursing homes
For a safer option regarding consistent medical care and assistance for the elderly or those dealing with chronic medical conditions, think about investing in private duty nursing services that can take place right in your own home with an experienced, caring nurse. There is an increasing demand for private nursing services and as our technology and communications get better while people learn about the convenience and safety of this option. Most private nursing companies also have more stringent requirements for their healthcare employees, including thorough background checks to make sure only the most honest and reliable nurses and aides are able to enter your home.
A nurse you can trust
Another advantage of private nursing services in your home is that you can develop a relationship with your healthcare provider and they will have a much clearer understanding of your personal needs and how to best serve your family. This kind of individualized attention is far superior to what will occur in larger facilities that may have hundreds of beds filled at any given time. The possibility of neglect disappears with one on one care and a system where a doctor or nurse is always available in case of an emergency.
Get in touch with First at Home for a better solution
First at home is the most reliable personal care company in West Palm Beach Florida. They can provide a verified healthcare professional to serve you in the comfort of your own residence under the guidance of a primary care physician. Contact them today to learn about why having a qualified nurse or aide come to your home to provide treatment is the best option.