You Can Be Proactive About Nursing Care Providers

Written by NHAbuseGuide on July 20, 2015

You Can Be Proactive About Nursing Care Providers

It is easy to assume that any nursing home or long-term care facility that is licensed and staffed with nurses and healthcare providers will also provide good and reliable care. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect statistics tell consumers that it is much smarter to assume the opposite – that you will not automatically get the best care – and to do the research to discover the best facilities for your needs.

According to one study released by the National Institutes for Health, “There has never been a systematic study of the prevalence of abuse in nursing homes… Nevertheless, the disparate evidence that is available…suggests the existence of a serious problem that warrants further study.”

What those in search of long-term care facilities must take from that is that it is important to investigate your options to the greatest extent possible. The age of the Internet makes it easier than ever for anyone to do a bit of research and discover if the nursing home they are considering has a good record, well-trained and adequate staff, and offers the sort of services needed.

A Good Example

As one recent news story out of Florida demonstrated, what might seem like an obvious assumption can end in tragedy. For the Greenbergs it began with what so many of us think of as a routine reason for some time in rehab – a hip replacement. Many of us see this surgical procedure as fairly commonplace for those over 60, and that some time getting a bit of rehab and therapy is all that is necessary to get someone back on their feet.

However, if the rehab facility is not a quality healthcare provider, even a standard procedure can turn disastrous.

For the Greenbergs it ended in serious bodily harm and death. It began with the hip surgery, and Judy Greenberg’s stay in a local facility. From the start, her husband claims, the staff would force his wife to wait a long time for any assistance. Because she urgently needed the restroom one day, she tried to make it on her own after waiting for far too long. She fell and broke her leg.

This, her husband says, was the first incident in what became a “downward spiral” leading to her death. When she did pass away, the medical examiner came to the conclusion that her death was due to blunt trauma that was caused by repeated falls. (ABCActionNews.com)

In other words, no one was following any fall prevention plans for her, and this was proven when official inspections noted that one member of the staff had failed to follow fall prevention plans on more than one patient.

Getting the Facts

Fortunately, anyone with Internet access can now use the federal Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare tool that reveals any such instances and reports, and offers potential residents a chance to get the fullest picture possible. Had the Greenberg’s realized that a tool such as this was available, they may have been able to select a different facility without a track record for neglect and/or abuse.

When you are considering the use of long-term care or rehab, or a nursing home facility, take the time to explore their details on the state and federal levels. Contact the Department of Health to learn about a specific site, use the comparison tools online, and be sure to pay a visit to see how patients are treated.

If you feel that care is not what it should be once you have arrived, or your loved one has settled in, do not hesitate to contact the administration, the local authorities, and an attorney to get action at once.

Source

ABCActionNews.com. I-Team: Know about nursing homes… http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team-investigates/i-team-know-about-nursing-homes-records-before-placing-your-loved-one-there

NIH.gov. Elder abuse in residential… http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98786/

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