If you are considering putting your elderly loved one in a nursing home, or if they already reside in one, you’ll want to be sure that they are safe. You’ve probably heard tales of neglect and abuse concerning residents in residential care facilities and want to ensure that this won’t happen to your loved one.
Is this concern something that you should be legitimately worried about, or are problems likely these truly rare?
Abuse and neglect happen frequently
Nursing homes must meet certain criteria to receive federal funding. Failures to meet specific criteria are recorded as “deficiencies,” and “serious deficiencies” refer to those that result in actual harm or put residents in immediate jeopardy of harm. Neglect, abuse and the failure to deal with them or report them fall under this category.
A 2022 report released by the nonprofit organization Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) unveiled that the percentage of nursing homes found to have serious deficiencies rose from 17% in 2015 to 22% in 2022.
The average number of deficiencies per nursing facility has also risen since 2015, when it was 6.8. For the past three years, it has plateaued at 8.3 per facility.
The report notes that a quarter of these care facilities reported staff shortages, and almost three-quarters of them are run for profit. Companies have clearly decided that they can make good money by running nursing homes, yet they struggle to attract quality workers.
Understaffing of nursing homes and long-term care facilities leaves residents more vulnerable to neglect and abuse. If your loved one seems to be struggling in their nursing home, consider seeking legal help to better understand your options.