As the American population ages, there's been considerable growth in the assisted living industry. Approximately 40 percent of the people in assisted living facilities have dementia. Unfortunately, the people who work in many of these facilities aren't trained or equipped to properly care for them. This can be dangerous for those residents suffering from dementia as well as for other residents.
The federal government is taking steps to try to reduce the number of nursing home patients who return to the hospital within 30 days after their previous stay with a program they've recently implemented.
If you have a loved one who's suffering from dementia, it's likely becoming increasingly more difficult to care for them and ensure their safety at home. They may wander away -- sometimes even taking the keys to the car and driving hundreds of miles -- if they aren't watched constantly.
All of us who have loved ones in nursing homes are concerned about the staffing levels. We know that patients in an understaffed facility are more likely to suffer injuries because someone isn't always available to help them when they want or need to move. There are more likely to be errors in dispensing medication. Patients are more likely to get bedsores because they aren't turned or allowed to get up regularly.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home in the path of a storm, you want assurance that they'll be safely evacuated if necessary. However, those evacuations can be highly stressful and frightening to elderly people. Further, the accommodations in the facilities to which they're moved are often inferior to what they're used to.
Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Unfortunately, some people don't take the time to adequately research their options. A hospital may inform you of the imminent discharge of an elderly family member who will need care you can't provide. That can pressure you into finding a facility right away.
If you have a family member in a South Carolina nursing home, you've likely been concerned at times about whether there were enough qualified staff members available to provide the level of care and personal attention your loved one needs and deserves. A recent study by The New York Times and Kaiser Health News confirmed what many people already knew: Staffing levels at many facilities are too low.
The family of a World War II veteran is suing the Cherryville, North Carolina, nursing home for his death in January 2017, a week after suffering a fall in which he broke his leg. The 98-year-old grandfather, who had once been a Teamsters union leader, had been living in Carolina Care Center for over six years.
Leaving a loved one in a nursing home is hard enough, but realizing that there was danger you didn't know about is devastating. When you place a loved one in nursing care, you expect him or her to receive care and to be monitored for safety. You don't expect to find out that your loved one has fallen or slipped in the facility because of neglect or other problems.
Nursing homes have an obligation to keep their patients safe. When they do not, they're violating more than just the promises they've made to families. They're violating the law.