Nursing homes and assisted living facilities frequently face legal claims of elderly abuse.  Whether it is actual neglect of the senior citizen or the improperly administration of medication or other medically necessary procedure, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are one of the highest contributors to widespread elderly abuse.  These elderly residents range from those that simply need basic assistance to those that need acute care.  Insurance, Medicare and families pay a significant sum of money to care for these elderly patients but many times to save costs, these facilities do not hire enough staff to properly care for them.  Some estimates show that over 50% of the nursing homes in the United States are understaffed.  This understaffing is an important underlying cause of neglect and poor care which results in elderly abuse.

A study compared the top “for-profit” nursing home chains versus government-assisted nursing homes.  It found that the “for-profit” chains were more understaffed than their government-assisted counterparts.  This equated to 36% higher deficiencies and 41% higher serious deficiencies that the government facilities.  These deficiencies include: malnutrition, dehydration, bed sores, etc.

Of course this is the last thing you want to hear as you look for a nursing home for your loved one.  Make sure you carefully check out the facility by researching the company on the Internet.  Actually visit the home and look at their rooms, ask about their services.  Look to see if staff is readily visible, does the facilities seem clean and well-maintained.  Get referrals from friends and family.  There are several websites that can help with your decision.

http://www.caring.com/

http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes

If you or a loved one has been neglected or abused by a nursing home or assisted living facility, consult an attorney immediately.