Data Indicates Nursing Home Abuse Likely to Continue

Nursing home abuse and neglect are not problems in every facility, but it is something that many residents experience. Hive Health Media (HHM) recently took existing data on nursing home abuse in an effort to determine whether or not this disturbing trend of nursing home abuse will continue.

HHM began by examining a 2003 report by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to this report, the optimal daily amount of direct patient care is 4-5 hours. The 4-5 hours is divided between nurses, certified nurse assistants, licensed practical nurses, and other providers. Furthermore, the quality of patient care deteriorates significantly as the daily duration is reduced. If these guidelines were made into requirements and became the standard of care, at least 97 percent of US nursing homes would fall short of those expectations.

Understaffing in nursing homes is a serious problem. It keeps residents from getting that optimal amount of one-on-one care every day and puts them at serious risk of bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, infection, and other signs of nursing home neglect. According to a different Health and Human services report in 2008, an estimated 91 percent of nursing homes were cited for some kind of deficiency between 2005 and 2007. 17 percent of the facilities were cited for deficiencies that put residents in danger or directly caused them harm.

Between funding cuts that may lead to further staff reductions and an increase in the number of Americans who require nursing home care, HHM concludes that nursing home conditions are likely to continue to deteriorate.

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