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Nursing home report card for 2013 shows much room for improvement

Learn more about the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect.
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    January 14, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Nursing home report card for 2013 shows much room for improvement

Article provided by The Law Office of Kevin P. Kane, Esq.
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As seniors age, they often require professional assistance to fulfill their day-to-day needs. For many families, this means nursing home care.

Most nursing home staff members are empathetic, professional individuals who do their best to take care of residents. Even so, there can be oversights, particularly in nursing homes that are understaffed, and residents can be unintentionally neglected. In addition, there are more than a few bad apples working in nursing homes across the country, and instances of outright elder abuse are all too common at nursing homes and other care facilities.

The precise scope of the problem is widely considered to be unknown, as nursing home neglect and abuse are thought to be underreported. Even so, the annual Nursing Home Report Card issued by the nonprofit Families for Better Care gives some indicators of just how widespread the problem of elder abuse is. Based on the 2013 Nursing Home Report Card, there is much progress to be made as 2014 gets to a start.

California did slightly worse than average compared to other states

The Nursing Home Report Card taps into data from a variety of sources. Some of them include The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Compare, the Kaiser Health Foundation and the Offices of State Long-Term Care Ombudsmen. Data is collected nationwide, and also broken down to rank states against each other in certain categories.

Overall, the 2013 Report Card highlighted some disturbing information. Nationwide, almost 90 percent of nursing homes received an official citation for some kind of deficiency. These citations can be for a variety of things, from inadequate staffing to fire hazards, and many of the citations issued in 2013 were for relatively minor issues. Even so, the report card found that approximately 20 percent of nursing homes had neglected, mistreated or abused one or more residents.

California performed much worse than other states in some categories of the Nursing Home Report Card. For instance, California's average level of professional nursing home staffing was ranked 36th in the nation, with residents interacting with professional staff members for an average of just 43 minutes per day. California also ranked abysmally in terms of the percentage of nursing home care facilities that were cited for deficiencies, placing 40th in the nation.

But, while California nursing homes had a high percentage of citations for deficiencies, they had a low percentage of serious deficiencies. Citations for severe deficiencies were given to only about 10 percent of California nursing homes, placing the state 13th in the nation in that category and giving California its best ranked nursing home measure.

Overall, California was given a nursing home grade of "C" and finished 28th in the nation when factoring in all scores.

Discuss remedies for nursing home abuse or neglect with an elder abuse attorney

Elder abuse is a serious problem, and the 2013 Nursing Home Report Card shows that it is widespread in California and nationwide. But, there are solutions available through the legal system.

If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a care facility, taking legal action can not only help end the abuse, it can allow you to collect monetary compensation for the harm already caused. Talk to a California elder abuse attorney today if you believe your loved one may have been abused or neglected by a caregiver.

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