Are nursing homes safe?
If you have to decide whether to move a loved one to a nursing home, you should ask yourself, this question: “Are nursing homes safe?” The answer is yes and no: We would like to believe that all nursing homes offer proper attention and care, but sadly, our experience and the statistics show that this is not true for every case. Some nursing homes are safer than others — but no place is truly safe because you are entrusting your loved ones to the care of the strangers who staff these nursing homes.
According to the American Psychological Association’s Office on Aging, “every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported”. This is a brutal statistic.
Why are some nursing homes unsafe?
Some nursing homes are unsafe because of elder exploitation, abuse and neglect. Why does this happen? First, remember that nursing homes are mostly profit-driven entities. The less they can pay staff, the more they can pay the shareholders. I’d like you to think about staff in particular. Here are five reasons for abuse:
1. Not enough employees — one less staff member means more profits
2. Under-qualified employees — the less experienced, the lower the pay, the greater the profits
3. Overworked employees — when staff have to do more with less, they become less caring
4. Underpaid employees — when a staff member is making minimum wage, the caring incentive is decreased
5. Stressed and/or frustrated employees — the above factors adversely affect even the most dedicated and caring nursing home workers
A nursing home corporation is driven by economics. The corporate profits are increased by every dollar that can be saved on the number and quality of staff members. These are just some answers for the question, are nursing homes safe? Can you think of any other answers?
What should I do if I suspect abuse?
Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
At the Mininno Law Office, we have New Jersey certified civil trial lawyers available to help you. Our NJ nursing home abuse lawyers are experienced in nursing home neglect and abuse cases. They can assist you with anything you need. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.