Measures to assure the safety of nursing home residents may have had the weekend off. In order to lower the hospitalization of residents, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will increase weekend inspections of nursing homes by state survey agencies reviewing the quality of care and resident safety. The CMS undertook this action after Congressional concerns were expressed over nursing home neglect and abuse.
Nursing home care can help elderly individuals live healthy and dignified lives. Failing to meet this important responsibility, however, can have terrible consequences. One case that serves to prove this point involves complaints by the family of a 90-year-old resident that have caused state authorities to investigate a central Ohio facility for alleged nursing home neglect and abuse.
Elderly residents of Ohio nursing homes are entitled to a reasonable standard of care. Deviations from this care is nursing home neglect and abuse which can cause serious injuries and even death. Criminal proceedings were held earlier this month against two of three defendants allegedly responsible for the death of a nursing home resident who froze to death in the facility's courtyard on Jan. 7.
Ohio and other states license nursing homes to assure that residents are afforded a reasonable standard of care. However, a recent report revealed that unlicensed nursing homes across the country are committing unacceptable and even illegal acts and compounding the frequency of nursing home neglect and abuse.
Many forms of nursing home neglect and abuse, such as bed sores or personal injury, are visible and obvious. However, psychological or emotional abuse is a serious form of neglect that is not visible and may be difficult to detect. This abuse is comprised of the infliction of mental suffering, anger, pain or distress on residents that causes harm on how that person feels or thinks. It is caused by words, action or inaction.
Although nursing homes are regulated, there are too many cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. Consumers should look behind the curtain for signs of nursing home neglect and other problems.
One aspect that many people forget to take into consideration when choosing the right nursing home for their relatives is fall prevention. Seniors often have health, mobility and balance issues that make them fragile and prone to falls. Most nursing homes and retirement centers have measures and staff in place to protect residents from accidents. However, there are a growing number of fall incidents occurring where residents sustain critical injuries and die and nursing home abuse, neglect and wrongful death claims are filed.
Medications that are properly and professionally administered can be an important part of care for nursing home residents. However, their misuse may constitute nursing home neglect and abuse.