Michael Smith, Arkansas Attorney, Explains Continued U.S. Nursing Home Care Woes
PUBLISHED BY: LFN Primary
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) December 2, 2014 – Families for Better Care, a national advocacy group, ranks nursing homes across the country each year. This year, Arkansas saw an improvement in ranking. Other states did not fare so well.
“We cannot seem to get a handle on nursing home abuse,” explained Michael Smith, an Arkansas nursing home abuse attorney. “Seniors must be treated with dignity, respect and care. That is not happening in many facilities in the United States.”
While Arkansas’ nursing homes did show a marked improvement in 2013, there is still a long journey ahead to improve standards of care.
Nursing homes in some states failed miserably even compared to other states – an embarrassing and troubling achievement. On the worst list, from top to bottom, were Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana and New Mexico. Another noticeable trend was a decline in once higher-rated states. Those states included South Dakota, Alaska, Oregon, Georgia and West Virginia.
“Why did they lose their higher ranking? A shortage of properly trained staff, violations of state and federal laws and abuse of residents,” said Smith. According to the Families for Better Care report, frequent violations mar many facilities’ rankings. “Shockingly, virtually two-thirds of all states had up to 90 percent or more of their nursing homes cited for violating state or federal laws. One in five homes mistreated patients in close to 50 percent of all states.” Neglect and abuse often result from a lack of professionally trained staff, improperly supervised staff and a management structure that comes up short when attempting to hire qualified personnel – an oft-cited reason for the proliferation of abuse in nursing homes.
Forced into hiring whoever shows an interest in working in a nursing home, many facilities discover later that they gambled on the wrong person to care for their residents. Instead of diligently vetting applicants, many homes do not look too closely at able bodies applying for work when they are desperately short-handed.
Far too many of America’s seniors, those who built this nation brick-by-brick, are living in dangerous conditions, subject to some of the worst kinds of abuse imaginable. “Stop the abuse. If you see abuse, suspect abuse or are concerned about a relative’s sudden change in behavior, talk to me,” Smith suggested. “I can advise you of your options and help you file a lawsuit, if that is what you wish to do.”Learn more at http://www.arkansaslawhelp.com/