Nursing home “care” may border on abuse in some states, according to a report released last month by advocacy group Families for Better Care. The Florida-based group graded states on several criteria including average employee hours per resident per day, care staff to resident ratio, and health inspection score. Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine received the highest scores, but the report declared nursing homes in Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana inadequate.
Nursing home staff are responsible for providing excellent care for their elderly residents. However, nursing homes across the country continue to fail to provide even adequate care. Nursing home residents who are not receiving proper care can suffer injuries from falls, bedsores, malnutrition, and physical and emotional abuse.
Laws passed in several states last year allowed the use of hidden cameras in nursing home rooms, which have improved the standard of care according to inspectors. Last year in Oklahoma, a state that received an “F” rating from Families for Better Care, a video camera caught a nurse forcefully shoving food into a 96-year-old woman’s mouth. Similar scenes of abuse have been captured by cameras in other homes.
One of the most substantial barriers to providing effective care is the lack of well-trained nursing home staff. According to July’s report, a paltry seven states provided residents with more than one hour of professional care each day, and a vast majority of states gave residents less than three hours of direct daily care. Brian Lee, the executive director of Families for Better Care, called nationwide nursing care “slipshod” and blamed it for “thousands of painful or deadly blunders.”
“It’s beyond time that states take a hard look at their nursing home care and figure out what’s working so residents receive safer, more affordable care,” Lee said.