According to a recent report published by ProPublica and “Frontline,” many nursing facilities are far from providing adequate care for their residents. Various states have been found to contain facilities with lackluster regulations and standards for hiring both administrators and caregivers. As a result, nursing home residents are suffering and have even died from abuse and negligence. Thankfully, elder care attorneys are available to represent victims and their families.
Regulations Allowing for Negligence
In the “Frontline” assisted living report, it is mentioned that Ohio state laws don’t require nursing administrators to report questionable resident deaths to the Department of Health, meaning that many deaths remain uninvestigated and dismissed regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.
Other states were found to allow for inadequate care of residents, including Minnesota, where nursing home administrators aren’t required to have a high school diploma. In Illinois, caregivers as young as 16 are considered qualified, and licensed nurses aren’t mandatory for facilities in many states at all. Six states, including South Carolina, don’t require any regular inspections.
California was examined the most of any other state in the report, as facilities in the state were found to receive little punishment for improper care resulting in resident deaths. In several instances involving questionable deaths, assisted living companies were only fined up to $150.
Insufficient regulations such as these show that the assisted living industry is not giving the elderly access to proper nursing home care.
Making a Change
Elder care lawyers, along with Medicare, are taking measures to ensure that residents receive the care they need. Medicare performs health inspections on every nursing facility in the country, and their recent inspection results are viewable for everyone on the Medicare website. If residents or their families suspect abuse or negligence has caused harm, they can build a case with an elder care attorney to end the suffering and help reform the facility’s care practices.
While the “Frontline” report reveals that the assisted living industry is lacking in many areas, there are many parties attempting to correct the mistakes made in nursing home regulation.