More and more people are entering nursing homes and managed residential care facilities as they get to an age where it becomes too difficult to live at home. Sometimes, it is because family members cannot provide the standard of care they need. Elders may themselves choose to enter a nursing home because they don’t want to become a burden on their families. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the level of care which we expect them to do. A report compiled by an organization called Families for Better Care revealed that many nursing homes across the U.S. failed to provide adequate levels of care. Mississippi nursing homes were given an average ‘D’ rating based on a number of different criteria, with the state performing near the bottom of the country in many respects.
The findings of the report would be enough for many Mississippi residents who have elderly relatives in a nursing home to take a long hard look at how they are being cared for. Early legal intervention when nursing home neglect or abuse is discovered can mean all the difference to the future conditions of a loved one as well as recover valuable monetary compensation that can help improve the loved one’s life.
Evaluating the standard of care in Mississippi nursing homes
The Families for Better Care’s survey looked primarily at 3 main factors that the organization thought was important in measuring the standard of care in the nursing homes they looked at. The three factors were:
- Staffing levels
- Inspection reports
- A number of complaints were made and verified
Mississippi scored particularly badly on the number of verified complaints. These were complaints that were followed up through an investigation. 9 out of 10 of all complaints that were investigated were verified. That means that the complaints were genuine and the reasons for making the complaint were justified. This factor put the state in the 41st position overall – near rock bottom.
Inadequate staffing levels
The second worst factor was the score obtained by examining comparative staffing levels. Staffing levels were regarded as very important by Families for Better Care and a major factor in determining whether a nursing home could provide satisfactory levels of care. When staffing levels are low, it is much more likely that a resident may not be attended to if an injury occurs, such as may happen due to a fall. Medical care may be delayed or non-existent. Residents with dementia may even wander off the property altogether without adequate supervision.
An average of only 2.4 hours a day of direct staff care are provided in Mississippi nursing homes. Less than half the nursing homes in the state have above-average RN staffing levels.
The low staffing level of Mississippi nursing homes when compared to the rest of the states put it in the 35th position.
Poor inspection reports
The final of the three factors which were health inspection reports placed the state in 32nd position overall with only a third of the state’s nursing homes getting above-average inspection reports.
A separate report provided by Medicare paints an equally gloomy picture of Mississippi nursing homes. Of the 205 nursing homes in the state that are monitored through inspections and surveys by federal health inspectors, 63 were found to have had serious deficiencies and standards of care that resulted in harm to some of the homes’ residents.
Contact a nursing home abuse attorney
If you have a loved one in a Mississippi nursing home and suspect that the level of care your relative is receiving is inadequate or there is evidence of physical or mental neglect you should first approach the home’s management to determine what is going wrong. If you do not get a satisfactory response and you feel that your loved one has suffered through abuse or neglect, you should contact the Diaz Law Firm in Jackson for a free consultation. A personal injury attorney at the Diaz Law Firm may be able to assist in pursuing a legal claim against the home in order to obtain the compensation that can help you improve the future living conditions of your relative. You can contact the Diaz Law Firm in Jackson at 601-607-3456.