“More than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year, and for-profit homes were more likely to have problems than other types of nursing homes, federal investigators say in a report issued on Monday.” Robert Pear, The New York Times
The Department of Human Health and Services has found nearly 94% of for profit nursing homes, many run by large corporations, have been cited for safety violations.This statistic is appalling, considering the millions dollar profits being made by these nursing homes. For the year 2008, nursing homes charge families $77,380 on average for a room and $36,372 for assisted living rooms.With costs increasingly rising, poor patient care and frequent violations are inexcusable.
If it wasn’t bad enough that these corporate nursing homes drastically overcharge, for the quality of care they provide, they are also supplementing their profits by overcharging taxpayers.Inspector General of the Department of Human Health and Services said he had found some cases in which nursing homes billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that, “were not provided, or were so wholly deficient that they amounted to no care at all.”
The decision to place a member of your family in a nursing home or assisted living is difficult, but often necessary.If you currently have a family member in assisted living or a nursing home, please make sure that someone you trusts checks them regularly to ensure that the home is providing proper care.Never hesitate to ask the staff any question, and always bring up any concern you have.Write down the names of the individuals with whom you speak.Do not let nursing home staffs tell you that you are worrying too much.When it comes to the care of your family, you can never be cautious enough. Finally, remember that neglect and abuse has many signs, some of which can be hard to immediately detect.Every time you visit your family member, be sure to always check the following by talking to the staff, and making your own observations: 1. be sure that there are no signs of bruising on your family member from possible abuse, 2. make sure that they are receiving the proper and necessary medication and nutrition, 3, makes sure that the staff is frequently monitoring that there are no bed or pressure sores developing, and 4. make sure that nursing home staff is capable of responding immediately to an emergency situation.
If you suspect abuse, you can report it to the local regulatory authorities:
In Pennsylvania you can go to the Office of Aging website
In New Jersey, contact the Adult Protective Services