Many people need to live in a nursing home at the ends of their lives. Though all seniors living in these facilities deserve the best care, it seems especially important for the the people who put their lives on the line in service to this country. Veterans of our military often require extensive medical care as they age, and one of the best places to receive it is a nursing home run by Veterans Affairs.
If you are a veteran or you care for someone who is, it may shock you to learn that some VA nursing homes do not practice the proper standards of care. In fact, an inspection conducted earlier this year that included facilities in Alabama found that VA nursing homes in half the country harmed residents in various ways.
The details of the inspection
A private contractor inspected 99 different VA nursing homes for several months during 2018. It found that 52 of those facilities had conditions that generated actual harm to veteran residents. Eleven of them received citations for conditions known as "immediate jeopardy" to residents, which means the nursing home's negligence placed residents in danger of imminent harm.
Advocates for veteran welfare are shocked and upset at the findings, and you may be, too, especially since many of the harmful conditions are easily treatable or avoidable, such as bedsores. Only seven VA nursing homes had no deficiencies.
Are veterans suffering due to neglect and abuse?
The findings of the study found several conditions that were cause for concern. Staff at VA at your loved one's nursing home and others should take precautions to prevent the spread of infection, and inspectors frequently found that they failed to do so. Two thirds of the facilities didn't properly use sterile gowns or gloves when interacting with residents or use other simple safety measures. Over 50 of the facilities exposed residents to dangerous conditions and failed to monitor them in manner conducive to safety.
The general public spends a great deal of tax revenue on VA nursing homes. The problem is not new. You may remember inspections from seven years ago revealed that many veterans didn't receive proper pain management. However, this specific study may trouble you because it reveals just how widespread the negligence may actually be. Furthermore, if conditions are this bad in VA facilities, what does it say of the nursing homes available to the general public?
All seniors deserve quality nursing home treatment
Even if you or your loved ones never served in the armed forces, nursing homes should provide a proper standard of care. Nursing home abuse is intolerable and all residents deserve quality healthcare at the end of their lives. Fortunately, there are legal options available for those who want to pursue personal injury litigation.