Out of 1800 cases of elder abuse reported in Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2015, only 3 were referred to the state for prosecution. As you can imagine, other states have similar numbers. What’s troubling is that even though there have been many complaints brought against nursing homes, very few go on to litigation, which means no one ever hears about them. Here are some things you should know about abusive nursing homes, and how to avoid them.

Nursing Home Parent Companies

At the top of each nursing home sits a parent company who generally owns several nursing homes, which is why they tend to have similar names. Some parent companies are repeat offenders, but they can sometimes get away with it by pulling some tricks, such as merging with other companies or entirely changing their names to avoid association. This makes it hard to show patterns of neglect and abuse. Don’t be fooled, though. There are people who know who these parent companies are and how they operate their nursing homes.

It’s Hard to Differentiate Between a Good Nursing Home and a Bad One

The general public isn’t aware of who these parent companies are. They can’t differentiate between a good nursing home or a bad one, nor do they know about things like OSHA, plans of corrections, nursing in-services and other documentation that shows nursing home deficiencies. Repeat offenders seek “profits over people”, so their facilities tend to be understaffed. You need someone to help you make the right decision regarding finding the right nursing home.

You Can’t Always Get the Answers You Need

It’s hard to find the right answers you need on your own. Some nursing homes play “fast and loose” by taking advantage of the fact that the common person doesn’t know how nursing homes operate and the regulations that govern each nursing home. For instance, a nursing home should have a director of nursing or the equivalent of that title, the policies and procedures that a nursing home is required to keep on-hand, and other pertinent information that is required to be available to the public. It’s important that you know these things to get the answers you need.

Dishonest Nursing Homes

Some nursing homes take advantage of the fact that most people don’t know the ins and outs of what’s required of a nursing home. It is not uncommon for nurses to fill in medical records of patients at a later date, to improperly answer questions when abuse is suspected, or even fail to provide medical records to the patient or person who has been designated as the Power of Attorney or the equivalent. This is all done to hide abuse.

Take That, Nursing Homes!

Over the years, legislation was enacted because the elderly are such a disadvantaged group. Despite these regulations, nursing homes still abuse and neglect their residents. While there are some who seek to improve these laws, the elderly are still vulnerable in the meantime. However, a growing trend in patient advocate services has improved matters drastically. Now, you have a strong, fierce, and unbiased third party who knows how these nursing homes operate: Values Based Patient Advocates. They provide bedside monitoring, they’ll help you understand your rights, and they’ll be with you in any manner you need. No longer can a nursing home take advantage of you or your loved one.

You Need Someone Who Will Fight for You

Obtaining a lawyer is good when you think you or a loved one has been harmed, but prevention can make all the difference in the world. Chronic sores and other issues can be fatal if they aren’t dealt with properly. In cases of elder abuse, which is simply defined as a facility neglecting a patient and harming them as a result of that neglect, a chronic sore can, and often does, turn septic. You need someone who’s in your corner to fight for you and prevent these issues from happening before it’s too late.

It’s important to note that not all nursing homes are bad. In fact, there are several who provide top-notch care and treatment. Also, many nurses go above and beyond to help their patients, but nurses can’t do miracles at a nursing facility that is chronically understaffed. Values Based Patient Advocates can help you to find the right nursing home. They can also assist you with monitoring to ensure you or a loved one is currently receiving the right care and treatment. You have rights. Values Based Patient Advocates will inform you of your rights and make sure that no one takes advantage of you.

Our Patient Advocate Office is ever just an email or phone call away: 703-222-1300 – we’re happy to help! A phone call is free and it could save a life or reduce a large hospital bill.

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