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Nursing Home Abuse Is On The Rise, says AMAC

abuse Elder Senior nursing homeFederal, state and local authorities must act; family members, too, need to get involved

WASHINGTON, DC – Elder abuse in nursing homes is on the rise again and senior advocate Dan Weber is calling for government intervention at the state, local and federal levels.

Between four and five million Americans are in nursing homes, the great majority of whom are seniors over the age of 65.  “And too many of them have been and continue to be victims of nursing home abuse,” according to Weber.

Who is president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].  “If it is determined that a family member needs care in a nursing home, the facility needs deep vetting, not just a cursory background check”

Weber says that it was recently revealed during hearings held by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Committee on Finance that it may not be enough to rely on a nursing home’s good grades from the authorities when choosing a nursing home for a loved one.  He cites the testimony of a woman whose mother died as a result of neglect in a home that had what Grassley described as “the highest possible ranking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of resident care.”

That revelation hit home for Senator Grassley who described the testimony at his hearing as “troubling.”  He promised additional investigations into nursing home abuse by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Government Accountability Office.  He said that as soon as those investigations are completed new hearings would take place.

Meanwhile, CMS announced that it was already in the process of updating the way it rates nursing homes.  CMS also issued new guidelines for “identifying and ultimately preventing” abuse or neglect cases.

Nursing home attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley in Athens, GA say that in addition to physical abuse a majority of residents experience depression.  And, they say that many patients too often are given the wrong medications.

AMAC’s Weber warns that the decision to admit a relative to a nursing home is made more difficult because the patient may object and because the need may a lot of time to act.  And, notes the National Council for Aging Care, “If your loved one can still make choices or discuss their wishes clearly, it is very important that you acknowledge their opinion and act accordingly.”

Weber says that the decision to should not be determined by an individual family member.  It’s a time when all family members close to the individual who is ill to be consulted, although it is always wise to consult his or her physician.

“But, in most cases it is family members who must make the ultimate decision to move the patient into a nursing home.  And, beyond that, it is up to family members to ensure that the facility they choose is the right one.  They need to do their homework to pick a facility that has a history of caring for its patients. And, once a loved one takes up residency in a home, family members should make regular, unscheduled visits to make sure their loved ones are not being mistreated.”

To facilitate the process of choosing and vetting a nursing home, there are a variety of sources on the Internet that can help you make the right decisions.  Medicare, for example, has put together The Nursing Home Checklist that provides a list of the questions you need to ask.

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] with 1.7 million members, is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://dev.amac.us/join-amac.

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Odnamra

An increase in nursing home abuse is not surprising in a society where abortion up to an including a child that is born alive is condoned. This type of attitude cheapens the value of all human life, so if a ‘new’ life is viewed as expendable then an ‘old’ life will eventually be viewed the same way (think ‘Logan’s Run”).

S. Linda Jensen

My mother was a victim in a nursing home in Oklahoma. Poor quality of life, horrible food, depressing , and even dangerous lack of maintenance. Staff was as poor as I have ever seen. Ripe for abuse, lazy, not well supervised or trained. Patients were over medicated under served, and treated like dirt. The owners live large, own several nursing homes in the state. Drive fancy high dollar vehicles, live in large expensive homes, while the walls, floors and ceilings crumble all over the place around the residents. My mother was paralyzed, unable to move with out help. They would see the call light and wait for over an hour to check on her, the room was only a few steps from the nursing station. It is a constant battle. I and my brother called them on the carpet many times. They have been turned in many times for their… Read more »

Morbious

Vetting is fine, but that along with meeting with the front person is akin to having faith that your salad was prepared in ways that wouldn’t gross you out. Some realities: there is no substitute for constant vigilance and visitation. Even then, the family member will, with nearly metaphysical certainty, be sitting in soiled diapers for far too long. The above fact often leads to utis which can lead to delerium that can mimic dementia or pyschosis. Staff will steal any and everything, starting with jewelry and phones, but often including underwear. Facilities are highly motivated to drug residents with sleep aids or anti depressants in order to zone them out and make them more manageable. Any person simply dumped in such a place is in for a very rough time if their mind is intact. Ive found that the best concept going is the converted house in a residential… Read more »

K.Beyer

The choice of a nursing home made by family members is not always a choice. Sometimes it is a financial matter. If there are limited funds,the choice is made by the family’s pocketbook; and that can mean no choice at all.

Monique Parker

Some daycare centers for children are now installing cameras….they should also do that in nursing homes. I realize that there should be a minimum of privacy but the elderly already lose all their privacy when they enter nursing homes.
I pray everyday that the Lord will take me before I get too old. Heaven is a FAR BETTER place !!! .?

Marlopi

When we had to put Mama in a Nursing Home the 4 of us children took turns being with her all day 7 days a week, except for breakfast. It was not easy, but what she did for us was not easy either and she deserved our devoted attention and care. Two of us were working full time and took the evening and weekend to be with Mama. Nursing Home workers are not always to blame because of the volume of care they need to give. Caring for the elderly can be as demanding as caring for an infant. Now I will admit that some personnel are not interested in caring for people, they just want the paycheck so it is important that you choose a good home, but also the family needs to be there daily to help and make sure their loved one is receiving proper attention and… Read more »

PatriotZoomie

There are degrees of incapacity. My mother who is suffering from dementia can’t remember most things short term, and is losing her long term memories as well. We visit every day and have lunch or dinner with her. My wife helps with laundry and mom’s medications, which we keep locked in a safe as she is no longer able to handle that responsibility. Right now, there are outside services whose office are in the facility we hire to provide the increasing levels of care for mom, including showers, medications when we are gone, etc. The facility where she resides is an independent living facility, and so as long as mom doesn’t try to leave and wonder off and is not a danger to herself, we will keep her there. We have identified more restrictive facilities as future options should memory care and more rigorous controls be necessary, but right now,… Read more »

Cheryl Pokorny

I work in a nursing home with a fabulous reputation, but I can see where neglect and abuse could happen. Nurses and aides are in high demand! I believe all nursing homes are under staffed, some more than others. Many of them work double shifts.several days a week. They have several residents they are each taking care of some needing full assistance. I would think some of them are getting very tired and easily loose patience. How can the facilities fix that? I’m not sure.

Greg Russell

How sad that the most vulnerable in our society are left to be abused, or worse. Can it be any surprise that when we show so little value for human life the way we butcher infants in the womb, that we have so little concern for human life, and that quality of life, of our elderly? Add to that, the entitlement attitude of too many today, the fact that so many are drug and alcohol dependent, and just the general callousness and apathy of the culture, and it`s a volatile mix. We are indeed in the days “as of Noah”, the end times. All I know to say is: “Come quickly Lord Jesus”.

'grandma' Jeanne

Great article…I hope next time there will be more definitive information on NYS nursing homes.

Jenny

Although this article makes excellent points, it should have had better proofreading. Many words are left out and there are grammatical errors. AMAC should look into this.

Anne Boughmann

My father was in Assisted Living, and now skilled care. The supposed rating system that is used is not a good indicator these days of the facility or staff itself. It needs to be the Residents and their families rating them. My father is in a very nice facility building wise, but the nurses and kitchen staff are another story. I believe my father is getting good care but when he tells his complaints I don’t know how real they are or if he is complaining because they don’t do it his way. He is wheel chair bound and they have to use a hoya lift to move him and he says they are too rough with him. He says they will put him in his recliner and he ends up there all afternoon till dinner time. They don’t come in and check on him, no fresh ice water. I… Read more »

Dee

My mother is at a local Assisted Living which we she moved in was rated above normal. mgmt. changed and it has fallen way below par now. I called in the state and they did nothing. Now residents families are getting cameras installed to record the abuse. broken arms, broken pelvis, broken legs, My mother’s bruised and bleeding arm from wrist to elbow. I have a picture of it. the DON does nothing she hides all incidents. no recording of any. she is lazy and hires family. One family now has hospice due to the treatment of the mother. Diapers on incontinent residents are to be checked and changed every 2 hours per the state. HA. you can come off the elevator at times and you smell urine. I can give a low down of this place. I have kept notes.

Silas Longshot

My Mom just passed a while ago, after months of going downhill, first at home, then after a fall or two winding up in hospital multiple times, in and out of various ‘nursing homes’ that were rated ‘good’, finally in a hospice facility where they kept her ‘comfortable’ in her final days. Seriously depressing places, I’m sure working there carried over to the people charged with caregiving. Now wife’s mom is in her final days, living with us with a long term form of cancer, but without much pain if any, but slowly wasting away. She thanks us often for keeping her ‘home’, and should she take a turn for the final days, home hospice will be the way we go, as with 2 of my wife’s siblings who died of cancer.

Ellen

It is absolutely unacceptable; it breaks my heart to hear that those patience in some nursing homes are not treated with good caring people. I truly believe that those seniors in the nursing homes deserve love, respect and happiness, after all they do not have very much to go on. I really hope that their should be some type of organization(s) who can stop the abuse with strong restrictions on employees/employer to follow. May God bless the elderly people.

Esmeralda

I picked a “better” graded nursing home for my mom to get some therapy. She was only supposed to be there for awhile, but ended up nearly being admitted full time after a couple relapses that included two hospital stays. I visited her 3 times a week, and my brother would go there another 3. For all the grading of this place, I could see she was not being looked after properly. Being weak from hospitalization prior to first going there, they would haul her out of the bed like a sack of potatoes. I complained that she needed a couple days to regain her strength and not to DRAG her out of bed. After she got a little better, they quit helping her out of bed entirely! She’d lay there most of the day (she was not very ambulatory anyway). She had a draining sore on her leg that… Read more »

drnogerms

I once worked in a nursing home as a clinical professional. I saw first-hand what the real problem seems to be. 1. Many senior residents living in a nursing home are there not by choice. Many of them are resentful that their family put them “in that awful place.” The same family that “never comes to visit.” It’s “awful” because it isn’t “home.” So sometimes they rebel against the most well-meaning efforts to make them feel comfortable. 2. Many nursing home employees that commit this “abuse” are not trained to anticipate and deal with these rebellious actions, so they don’t understand it. They see themselves as a compassionate caregiver to the elderly – and usually they are. But sometimes their workload overcomes their compassion and they lose their tempers. This does not justify or excuse their actions, however. But it does amplify the need for proper training and education on… Read more »

Terry W Anderson

As an Administrator with 22 years experience in running a Skilled Nursing Facility I am disappointed that just like AARP the only thing you can find of an industry that serves a vast number of our elderly is a negative story. Don’t search for the truth of long term care for Americans who need our services just go after the industry as a whole. Because of AARP’s stance on Obama care and the constant assault on the service I was called to at the state legislature in Louisiana I joined AMAC. This one sided view made me wonder now if your just another mouth piece for failed stay at home programs preceded by AARP. Is AMAC also in favor of turning those that can’t care for themselves out on the street just to feel good about yourself while leaving this at risk population to live in fear of their care… Read more »

Notfromhere

The above photo should accurately reflect who are the culprits in most cases and it’s Not white female nurses. Have a backbone and portray it realistically instead of adopting the PC protocol and making whites to always appear as the perpetrators of abuse, when in fact it’s seldom is the case in this instance. My mom spent 6 months in a higher end facility, NONE of the caretakers were white and nearly all had foreign accents.

suzlmt4u

This article was poorly written.