Sometimes, nursing homes get reprimanded when their facilities are not up to standards and/or are endangering their patients. As a result, they can become put under "special focus status", which means they are strictly overseen and are placed under a high level of scrutiny. Unfortunately, recent data suggests that after nursing home receive such violation notices, they do not often improve. According to one news source, "While special focus status is one of the federal government's strictest forms of oversight, nursing homes that were forced to undergo such scrutiny often slide back into providing dangerous care, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal health inspection data." Out of over 500 nursing homes that came out of special focus status before 2014 and are still in business, over half of them have since harmed patients or put them in serious danger. These violations have included giving patients incorrect medication, failing to intervene in cases of violence from other residents or staff members, and withholding information from families and physicians regarding injuries. These homes are found in almost all 50 states.
Information reported by a Georgia news source as referenced by the World Heath Organization, states that about 10% of America's elderly population is abused or neglected. Additionally, the researchers noted that this is likely an underestimation. Elderly citizens are being abused both in home care situations and while being cared for in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Did you know that you could potentially be responsible for your parent's unpaid nursing home and assisted living bills? This may be a scary thought, but in many states with filial support laws, many families are faced with this problem.
This post is a version of a story we originally brought to your attention several years ago, but is, unfortunately, still very relevant today. Please read this article to learn more about advocating for the rights of our state's senior population!
Recently, phone scammers have been targeting Pennsylvania seniors across the state. An article by GoErie.com highlighted this phenomenon, which is important for all elderly citizens and their family and friends to know about! According to the article, a representative from the PA Department of Aging reported that these scams are not uncommon among their 52 area agencies, which represent all 67 PA counties. Many of these scammers pretend to be calling on behalf of friends or family members who are having emergencies and need money sent to them. If an unknown person does call, it is important to never give any personal information, credit card information or your social security number to anyone you don't know over the phone.
A recent article by Caring.com spoke about ways to keep loved ones out of nursing homes. Many families who would like to receive help for their relatives are financially strained and cannot afford a nursing home. For these families, the care of a loved one can cause undue stress and tension. Caring.com addressed this issue by offering many tips on creative financial ways to help take care of elderly relatives or friends. According to the article, some of the tips include:
In Mifflin County, a personal care home is currently the subject of a civil lawsuit. According to the news report, the Meadowview Manor home failed to keep the facility up to safe living standards, as well engaging in some financially questionable practices. The home, which housed more than 30 residents, is under fire for failing to provide adequate heat for its residents in the cold, maintain a working sewer and electrical system, keep smoke detectors running, and generally provide safe and sanitary conditions. To learn more, please click the link at the bottom of this post.
A Pennsylvania nursing home is under increased scrutiny after receiving complaints cockroaches, filthy conditions, and verbal abuse. According to a news report published by ABC27, a Columbia, PA nursing home called Susquehanna Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is providing substandard living conditions for its residents. Former employees complained to supervisors about masses of cockroaches in the kitchens, among other problems. After one employee was fired for speaking out, she posted a video on Facebook to show the conditions and warn the community about the problems. Former employees stated that they felt like the nursing home residents were not safe and were not being treated as human beings. At that same time, the nursing home was found out of compliance eight times in the period of one year, including allegations of maggots and dirty wheelchairs.
Believe it or not, social media harassment is becoming a significant problem for elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to a local report from ProPublica (in partnership with NPR) there has been a significant amount of Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram photos and videos posted by nursing home employees in recent years. These photos and videos highlight residents in compromising positions, such as being naked and/or abused, covered in excrement, or deceased. As a result, federal health officials have stated that they plan to crack down on these employees. One such measure they recommend is having a clear policy for all workers that prohibit staff from taking potentially demeaning pictures of their residents. Additionally, they are urging state officials to quickly investigate claims, report offenders, and recommend disciplinary action.