As the Baby boom generation ages, the number of individuals who require nursing home care continues to increase. Current statistics suggest that nearly a third of Pennsylvania citizens, about four million adults, will be over the age of 60 by 2030.
Unfortunately, from staffing shortages or poor staff management to outright neglect and abuse, many Pennsylvania nursing homes may pose serious health risks for vulnerable seniors.
Why does nursing home abuse occur?
Staffing and staff training issues are among the most common reasons for substandard care or abusive practices. Many nursing homes struggle to maintain a safe staff-to-resident ratio, leading to potentially deadly medical oversights, from improper administration of medication to failure to monitor individuals who need specialized care.
What are the most common forms of abuse/neglect?
Common signs of abuse or neglect include unexplained bruises, frequent falls, poor hygiene and bacterial infections. Aging individuals often require routine assistance with basic mobility and hygiene. They may also experience issues with memory and cognition.
When staff members fail to properly assist or supervise these vulnerable individuals, even a relatively minor incident may lead to severe injury or even death.
How can individuals ensure a nursing home is safe?
Nursing Home Compare is a government-run website that lets prospective residents or their guardians review care facilities that have Medicare and/or Medicaid certification.
In addition to indicating how well a nursing home has performed on health and facility safety inspections, this unique tool provides information about the quality of staffing and whether the home has had issues related to neglect or abuse in the past.