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When Nursing Home Care Falls Short

The recent news reports regarding a Henderson nursing home have captured the attention of many local residents with family or a friend who reside in such facilities around the Tri-State. Nursing homes are often recommended to provide hospital-level care over the long term, particularly when family members cannot provide such care themselves at home. Still, 

the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is often made with a great deal of reluctance, regardless of the excellent care that many such facilities provide.

Beginning in August 2014, the operation of the Henderson facility came under scrutiny in the news media following the departure of its Executive Director, Director of Operations, and two board members. Many in the community began to question the operational practices of the facility and its parent company. An investigation into the management of the facility brought to light numerous areas of concern, including a lack of checks and balances with regard to financial practices, lack of HIPAA compliance, improper management methods, and poor operating procedures. As the story continues to unfold in the media, it is becoming apparent that the nursing home's residents may not be receiving the care their families expect.


What kind of care do nursing homes provide?

Nursing homes provide what is known as custodial care, which includes assistance with daily personal care tasks as well as medical care. Skilled nursing care, as well as occupational and physical therapy, is typically part of the treatment offered in a nursing home. Some facilities also offer specialized care for Alzheimer's patients as well as short-term rehabilitative care for those who will ultimately return to their homes. Basic care for patients in a nursing home setting includes timely meals, personal care including bathing and dressing, properly timed and dosed medications, housekeeping including changing of bed linens, and activities appropriate for each resident's abilities. In many cases, a nursing home provides a level of care that cannot be given by family members in a home setting.

Poor management resulting in poor care

When the leaders of a nursing home fail to properly administrate their facility, personnel, and funding, there is greater potential for the abuse and neglect of the most fragile members of our community. Poor care due to lack of adequate staffing, improper dosing of medication, lack of proper sanitation, failure to be HIPAA compliant, and mismanagement of funds all violate the trust families place in a nursing facility. Many times the residents of a nursing home cannot communicate their experience to their family members, and poor care goes unrecognized.

As the details of the situation at the Henderson nursing home continue to emerge, the families of nursing home patients throughout the Tri-State would be wise to consider the legal rights of their loved ones. If you have a family member residing in a long-term nursing facility, you have likely followed the news stories with concern. Pay attention to your instincts. Ultimately, the task of protecting the residents of any nursing home falls to their families. If you have concerns about the care a relative is has received in a nursing home, you may want to speak with an experienced attorneyat Gerling Law.

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