Entrusting yourself or your loved one to the care of a nursing home facility should not come with the fear of mistreatment or assault, but studies have shown that approximately one in 10 older adults living in a community environment is a victim of abuse. Elder abuse is a serious and harmful threat to individuals who reside in nursing homes, affecting both the residents themselves and their network of friends and family.
When you decide to trust a nursing home with the care of your elderly family member, you expect them to provide them with at least the standard of care that you would give them. Sometimes, they don’t give them the same quality of life that you want them to. While some of their shortcomings aren’t considered abuse and neglect, others are.
One of the biggest complaints that nursing home residents have is that staff has a slow response time. This can be from understaffing and overworking of the staff, which can be from genuine lack of time, but it can also be as a result of nursing home abuse. Let’s take a look at what slow response times can mean for patients and what you can do for your loved ones in long-term care facilities.
When it comes time to move a loved one into a nursing home or independent living facility, you expect that facility to provide them with quality care around the clock. When people think about injuries and instances of failing staff, abuse often comes to mind first; however, neglect is often a bigger problem in nursing homes.
It’s important to understand how neglect is a unique issue many nursing home residents face, what the signs of neglect are, and how negligent facilities can be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Let’s start by going over how neglect is legally defined in a skilled nursing facility in Marion.
Nursing home residents are considered to be a vulnerable population. This is because they generally need to rely on nursing home staff to provide them with food, medicine, and daily necessities. When this doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, legal action may be available on the grounds of abuse or neglect.
If you believe your loved one has wrongfully suffered, you’ll likely want to understand the circumstances that led to their harm. In some instances, substance abuse may be a factor—whether staff members abuse drugs while working with residents or a resident’s substance abuse disorder was managed improperly. Let’s take a look at how substance abuse affects nursing home patients and what can be done to limit drug and alcohol abuse in long-term care facilities.
There are many reasons as to why elder abuse occurs. In some cases, the incident is a spontaneous act perpetrated by someone who is taking advantage of a senior’s situation. In other cases, premeditation is involved. Most elder abuse cases involve an element of power and control exercised by the abuser. In order to protect your loved one from elder abuse, it’s important to understand why it happens in long-term care facilities and in the home.
No matter how pristine and safe a nursing home may seem, it’s not always easy to detect what goes on when visitors aren’t present. A significant number of facilities are found in violation of state and federal laws every year. Some of the violations are in regard to abuse and neglect. To protect your loved one, it’s important to know how you can find information on a nursing home’s reputation and past.
Whether you’re searching to find the perfect long-term care facility for your loved one or making sure their current facility is providing them with the care they need and deserve, there are a variety of resources you can use to find out if your loved one’s nursing home has a history of neglect.
There are state, federal, and independent resources you can access to find out about instances of neglect in a nursing home. You can learn about a nursing home’s rating, compare facilities to each other, and read about the violations different homes near you have been charged with.
The majority of long term care facilities in the United States are understaffed. Neglected residents are likely to experience malnutrition, incontinence, injuries, and preventable hospitalizations. In addition to the physical consequences, they could also suffer from emotional trauma in the shape of loneliness, fear, lack of social relationships, and loss of dignity. Nursing assistants are also at an increased risk of injury when there is too few staff to care for a high number of residents.
Nursing home residents who require skilled care need at least 4.1 hours of care per day. At least 1.2 hours of that time needs to come from a licensed or registered nurse. This is the minimum amount of care to prevent problems like pressure ulcers, dehydration, and losing the ability to carry out daily tasks like dressing and eating. If a facility does not have enough staff to meet those needs, residents will suffer.
Nursing homes can decide for themselves how may certified nursing assistants and nurses they need. Federal regulations only require “sufficient” staffing. The vague wording means negligent facilities can work the system to increase their profits by decreasing their staffing numbers.
In Illinois, the state laws also declare that staffing needs to be sufficient based on the needs of the residents. They do, however, require licensed staff and direct care staff to be working for certain amounts of time. A minimum of 25 percent of nursing and personal care time must be provided by a licensed nurse. At least 10 percent of that time needs to involve a registered nurse. The remaining 75 percent of care can come from either a licensed or registered nurse.
If you’re in the process of choosing a nursing home for your loved one, you’ll want to ensure the facility is properly staffed. It can be challenging, but not impossible, to find a facility that is. The following causes, however, are the biggest contributors to the understaffing issue.