There are many areas of concern when considering placing a loved one in failing health in a nursing home facility. While the possibility that a beloved family member could be a victim of abuse or neglect while in the care of staff is a serious worry, there is another area that may be overlooked when it comes to choosing an appropriate placement. Kentucky residents may benefit from checking into the safety and quality of the food that residents will be receiving.
In the search for a suitable placement for a failing loved one, one of the most pressing needs is ensuring his or her safety. In spite of diligent research, there remains the concern that a resident could suffer from neglect or abuse. Kentucky residents will soon have a new tool for assessing a facility.
Some of the most important decisions in life involve finding trusted care for loved ones. When help is sought for an elderly family member in failing health, the facility selected is trusted to provide appropriate care. Unfortunately, there are frequent reports of vulnerable Kentucky residents suffering significant harm from neglect or abuse in nursing facilities.
The decision to place a failing family member in a nursing home may come with some anxiety over the quality of care. A report from 2016, from the Inspector General's Office for the Department of Health and Human Services, noted that approximately 20% of emergency medical treatment for Medicare beneficiaries was related to possible abuse or neglect of nursing home residents. Though the report included nationwide statistics, residents in Kentucky nursing facilities could potentially be at risk.
It is no secret that nursing homes struggle to retain adequate staff. A recent study found that approximately 75% of these facilities are chronically understaffed by registered nurses. Kentucky residents who have loved ones in nursing homes may have reason to worry about the potential for neglect.
Families who have a loved one in failing health due to age or illness take every measure possible to find a qualified nursing home. Unfortunately, in spite of a family's best efforts, there remains a possibility that a resident will become a victim of neglect or abuse. One of the biggest challenges these facilities face here in Kentucky, and elsewhere, is the lack of adequate staff.
Those who have served their country are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, especially as they age. When failing health requires skilled care, assistance is often sought through Veterans' Administration facilities. Kentucky residents should be able to trust this agency's homes and hospitals without worrying about neglect or abuse.
Seeking the best care for an ailing loved one is never an easy undertaking. In spite of the effort put into researching the qualifications of a nursing home, there is always the worry that a loved one could suffer harm from neglect. Kentucky residents who are seeking a suitable placement for their loved ones understandably have many concerns over the care their loved one will receive.
Barely two months into 2019 and state lobbyists are pushing for two bills that could significantly harm nursing home residents. If they go through, these bills would effectively silence inspectors and employees from blowing the whistle on unsafe nursing home conditions and make it even more difficult for families to seek justice should their loved one suffer undue injury or death.
Over the past year, there has been an outpouring of support for those who have suffered from abuse, especially women. However, some of the most vulnerable members of society are those who reside in nursing facilities and are unable to speak out about abuse or neglect. Patients in long-term care facilities here in Kentucky and elsewhere are often victims of negligent or abusive staff.