For Virginia families, few decisions are harder than placing a loved one in a nursing home. Often, they feel reluctant and even guilty about doing so. However, elderly and infirm people may need constant attention and care that most families cannot give them. If they find a good nursing home facility that checks all the boxes with medical care and helping their loved one enjoy a high quality of life, it can turn out to be a positive decision. Unfortunately, there are frequent problems with these facilities that cause injuries, illness, worsened condition and death. Being vigilant before placing a loved one in a facility is key. After they have moved in, it is always wise to keep track of their progress and watch for signs of trouble.
Sufficient staffing is a fundamental aspect of adequate care
Providing residents with the care they need consists of many factors. One that is often understated is having enough staff at the facility. Recent problems have centered on a lack of staff and infection control. To address it, the Virginia legislature is considering a law for minimum staffing at nursing homes. Thirty-two states have a law like this on the books, but Virginia is not one of them.
Anecdotal evidence suggests this has harmed residents. One woman said that her mother did not receive the medicines she needed because the facility was short-staffed. The mother later died. Another woman’s father was placed in a facility for rehabilitation but died when there was a lack of staffing. The proposed law – HB 646 – would set minimums for staffing based on the number of residents in the nursing home. Still, the Virginia Health Care Association is against the law because of lack of qualified candidates to take the jobs that would be open if it is passed.
Abuse is also a concern at nursing homes
The news is rife with stories of people being mistreated or outright abused at nursing homes across the United States. In Virginia, a recent story discussed one woman whose mother, 94, was allegedly abused when she was admitted to a facility to receive rehabilitative care. That home had prior complaints. After the mother was admitted for three weeks, the daughter noticed signs of potential abuse including bruises on several areas of her body. She believes that the staff was treating her mother roughly. In addition, the woman’s heart monitor had never been connected as it should have been. The phones did not work and the ongoing national health issue prevented the daughter from checking on her mother in person. Eventually she was allowed in and found that her mother was not receiving basic hygienic care. Also, her property was misplaced or had disappeared. She alleges neglect as well as mistreatment.
Nursing homes abuse must not be tolerated and experienced help can be essential
Nursing homes are a necessity to care for people can cannot care for themselves or need rehabilitation. Although many provide attention and treat their residents well, complaints about wrongdoing are prevalent. Doing research into nursing homes is imperative, but even that cannot cover all the bases. When there is an unexplained illness, injury or lack of progress, it should be addressed immediately. Nursing home abuse needs to be stopped and those responsible held accountable. Having advice with investigating the allegations and assessing the options is vital.