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Nursing Homes: Massachusetts 19th, Alaska Best, Texas Worst

In a recent inspection conducted by a nationwide advocacy group, over three-quarters of Massachusetts’ nursing care facilities were guilty of at least one deficiency.

The Families for Better Care (FBC) state-by-state report card cited the number of facilities with serious deficiencies ( 24%), and the extremely high number of verified ombudsman complaints (95%) in ranking Massachusetts nursing homes 19th among the states overall. Alaska, Rhode Island and New Hampshire made up the top three. Indiana, Louisiana and Texas were the bottom three.

The pattern of high-quality facilities and poor-quality facilities had nothing to do with geography, education, income or other socioeconomic and political factors. FBC and other analysts see a one-to-one relationship between staffing levels and nursing home care. Simply put, according to FBC director Brian Lee, nursing homes that cut corners on personnel and staffing have been and probably always will be the worst elder care facilities.

Elder Abuse

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 20% of Americans will be aged 65 or over by 2050. Approximately 10% of elder adults surveyed stated that they had suffered abuse. Since elder abuse is vastly underreported, the actual number is probably far greater. Elder abuse is nearly always inflicted by a caregiver or family member. Some common categories include:

  • Physical abuse can include not only hitting and shoving, but also denying medication or denying use of proper medical devices.
  • Touching an elder or forcing an elder to view pornography or witness sex acts are the most common forms of sexual abuse.
  • Neglect and abandonment is quite common in care facilities. Caregivers may isolate patients as a means of punishment or as a means of avoiding the elder.
  • Financial abuse, such as phone scams, identity theft and applying pressure to alter financial documents, may be the most rapidly-growing form of elder abuse.

If you notice any physical injuries or unusual behavior when you visit your loved one, speak to an attorney right away to halt the abuse.

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