According to the Wall Street Journal, the rate of nursing home complaints received by states has climbed in recent years, reaching 71,602, or 52.3 per 1,000 residents in 2018, from 32.7 per 1,000 residents in 2011. Nearly half of the complaints handled last year, or 33,974, were considered high priority because they described circumstances that caused or could have caused actual harm to residents.
The U.S. government maintains a database, Nursing Home Compare, with detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country. In October 2019, the site began adding a small icon in search results for facilities recently cited for abuse or neglect. The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced the red icons following a series of reports issued earlier this year by government watchdog agencies that highlighted increased findings of abuse or neglect of nursing home residents. The icon is a red circle with a white hand inside and will roll off as the flagged facilities go without an abuse citation for a year.
Nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable. Because they lack the ability to care for themselves, elderly residents live at the mercy of corporations that own and operate nursing homes — and at the mercy of the staff members who work there. When nursing homes fail to provide appropriate care for their residents, serious injury and even wrongful death can result.
If you are faced with placing a loved one in a nursing home, we encourage you to carefully research long-term care facilities in your area. Making the correct choice can help ensure that your loved one does not suffer nursing home neglect and abuse. If you do suspect abuse in a nursing home facility, read our tips on what actions to take to protect your loved one.
To read the entire Wall Street Journal Article, “New Government Tool Opens Window Into Nursing Home Abuse,” click here.