Nursing home residents and caregivers currently make up about one-third of all COVID deaths in the United States, with over 28,000 deaths.
A report published by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulators in July 2018 showed that there are inherent problems with nursing homes in the United States. One of the most glaring inadequacies had to do with staffing. Many facilities that were studied didn't have an adequate staff-to-resident ratio in place. This puts many residents at risk falling ill, getting hurt or losing their lives.
Residents of nursing homes often rely heavily on the employees of the facility for help with their care. The need to have adequate nutrition is one that can't go unchecked. Nursing homes usually have a dietary services department that's responsible for ensuring that the offerings meet the needs of the residents.
Researchers published a study highlighting some of the dangers that nursing home residents face in the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology journal last year. In that article, they highlighted how older nursing home residents are at a significantly higher risk of acquiring health care-associated infections than others. The researchers identified various reasons why this is the case.
Families often place their aging loved ones into nursing homes because they believe that they'll be able to pay more attention to the loved one's every need than they can. What these family members often don't realize is how lighting, flooring, poorly selected furniture and inadequate handrails can put their loved ones at serious risk of getting hurt or killed.
People who are living in nursing homes deserve to have a safe environment. They shouldn't ever have to worry about being abused by the employees who are supposed to take care of them. While most of the workers do care about the residents, there are some who act in a horrendous manner toward the people they should be caring for.
New Mexico nursing homes may struggle with basic sanitation and infection control issues even without the threat of coronavirus. Nursing homes nationwide are routinely cited by the federal government for their failure to take measures to prevent infections among their residents. These nursing facilities may not do the simple daily things that keep residents safe from this possibly deadly ailment.
On March 3, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the launch of the National Nursing Home Initiative, which is designed to crack down on negligent nursing home owners and operators in New Mexico and across the nation. The department has already begun investigating around 30 nursing homes in nine states.
A federal hearing about nursing homes has led to statements from both the health care industry and patient advocates. Advocates are interested in making sure that there is greater awareness of what happens to both patients and care workers in nursing facilities across the country. According to the CEO of the American Health Care Association, patient care in New Mexico and elsewhere has improved dramatically since 2011.
Placing a parent or other elder loved in a New Mexico nursing home or assisted living facility is hard even under the best possible circumstances, but if your loved one also has mobility issues, you may justifiably feel even more trepidation about doing so. At The Harvey & Foote Law Firm, we understand that your concerns may well be justifiable, because falls that lead to serious injuries and resident deaths are alarmingly common in these environments.