When seniors need additional care, their loved ones may set them up in nursing homes for their safety.
Unfortunately, nursing homes are not always as safe as they may seem. Facilities can hide their abuse, making it imperative that seniors and their loved ones do extensive research.
To minimize abuse and neglect, nursing homes that use Medicare and Medicaid must uphold a certain standard of care. Federal regulations require nursing homes to maintain the dignity, safety and health of their occupants. Without these regulations, seniors could suffer physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse without repercussions.
Every one or two years, inspections check for safety, cleanliness and professionalism. They also want to ensure that nursing homes are providing adequate care to residents, including the number of staff and their qualifications. At these inspections, inspectors can issue violations that nursing homes must resolve. The inspector’s report is eventually made public, and this report usually affects a facility’s rating. However, according to a study documented by the New York Times, Medicare’s rating system does not provide a full, accurate picture of a facility.
Additionally, an inspection might not catch everything. Nursing homes could falsify incident reports, feign ignorance, conceal violations or abuses and threaten residents. Not all facilities have to officially follow up on inspections either, making it easy to hide violations and maintain good ratings.
Since ratings can give a false impression of a facility, conducting research on several nursing homes can ensure people make the right decision for their loved ones.