Are nursing homes safe for our loved ones?

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.

Choosing a nursing home is a difficult task but a very important decision

Choosing a nursing home is a decision like no other. You’re selecting a new home for someone you love and a place from where they may never return. It’s the toughest decision you may make. So, it’s important to know what questions to ask and what answers to expect. Many nursing homes may appear to be the same, but you will sometimes notice dramatic differences if you examine each one carefully.

If I’m choosing a nursing home, what’s most important?

Choosing a nursing home requires time, research and care. When choosing a nursing home, you have to consider many factors. Most importantly, you should be your loved one’s own patient advocate. Ask tough questions and demand specific answers. Unfortunately, despite the best research, residents are sometimes mistreated or neglected even in a good nursing home. New Jersey malpractice attorneys have seen too many of these cases before.

When choosing a nursing home, what information can help me?

A recent study looked at roughly 16,000 rated nursing homes in the U.S. Here are the good results:

Homes with high nurse to patient ratios generally received strong ratings. In other words, the more caretakers the better. Be sure to ask about the nurse to patient ratio, not just the patient to staff ratio.

Homes in the northeast were rated higher than homes in other regions. This is good news if you live here in the northeast but not so good if you live elsewhere.

More than 2 million Americans return home after staying in a nursing home for fewer than three months. So, a nursing home stay does not have to be a life sentence.

Here are the bad results:

Homes run by for-profit corporations generally receive lower ratings than homes run by nonprofit corporations. This should not surprise you. Sadly, many nursing homes put profit over people.

Homes with more than 100 beds generally received lower ratings. Again, no surprise there. Fewer patients versus more caretakers is always better than the other way around.

More than 500,000 Americans die in nursing homes each year — that’s a tough statistic to swallow.

If the worst should happen to your loved one in a nursing home, though we hope it never does, please contact a certified civil trial lawyer immediately.
The Mininno Law Office is always available to help. If you have questions about nursing homes, our New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers can answer them for you.