According to the findings of one study, it just might be.
After Lee Friedman, who is an associate professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago led a study that sought to determine whether the care provided in for-profit nursing homes was better than the care rendered in non-profit nursing homes, the findings were shocking [Source: WebMD]. Not only did the study reveal that “older adults who live in for-profit nursing homes are nearly twice as likely to have health problems linked to poor care than those in non-profit nursing homes and those who live in private homes,” but it also revealed:
- More serious diagnoses were given to residents in for-profit nursing facilities that were linked to neglect.
While some of these individuals suffered from severe dehydration, particularly those who had feeding tubes, others were diagnosed with stage three and four bed sores. If you weren’t aware, bed sores go through four different stages, stage one being the least severe. Generally, bed sores progress to stage two, three, and four when they aren’t monitored or treated properly by nursing home staff.
Someone who suffers from a stage three bed sore would have a wound that has gone through the second layer of skin into the fat tissue, says WebMD. A stage four bed sore, however, is far worse and a patient who suffers from this would likely have a deep, open sore. The skin sometimes turns black when a bed sore progresses to a stage four and the skin often shows signs of infection, red edges around the sore, and it sometimes gives off an odor. Stage four bed sores also contain pus and you may even be able to see a patient’s tendons, muscles, and bone.
Generally, when a nursing home resident suffers from a stage four bed sore, more than likely they were neglected by staff and not provided with the immediate care the wound needed when it first began developing. Some of the other findings from the study include:
- Residents had broken catheters and feeding tubes in the for-profit nursing homes that were studied.
- Medication being administered to those who suffered from chronic conditions in these types of facilities was not being managed properly.
Although WebMD didn’t cite how this affected the residents directly, we can tell you that when a residents’ medication is not managed properly, it could result in them receiving too much or too little of a particular type of medicine which could have an adverse effect on their health or put their life at risk.
Aside from sharing his findings from the study that involved more than 1,100 people aged 60 and older, Friedman also stated that “for-profit nursing facilities pay their high-level administrators more, and so the people actually providing the care are paid less than those working at non-profit places.” He went on to explain that the “staff at for-profit facilities are underpaid and need to take care of more residents, which leads to low morale for staff, and it’s the residents who suffer.”
Unfortunately, there are many nursing homes located all across the State of IL that are understaffed or the workers employed are responsible for managing more residents than they can physically handle. Sadly, this not only results in workers becoming burnt out, but it places the residents living in these facilities at risk of being neglected and even abused.
My loved one lives in a for-profit nursing home in Chicago, IL. What are some red flags I need to look out for that might indicate they are being abused or neglected?
Although the study did reveal some rather disturbing findings, it doesn’t mean all for-profit nursing homes are subjecting their residents to abuse and neglect. However, because there is the potential for this to occur, we do encourage you to always keep an eye out for any red flags that might indicate your loved one isn’t being respected or receiving the care you are led on to believe they are getting. Some signs of abuse you do want to look out for include:
- The resident has trouble sleeping.
- He or she seems depressed or confused.
- They begin to lose weight for no apparent reason.
- They display signs of trauma.
- They act agitated or violent.
- They become withdrawn.
- He or she stops taking part in activities they once enjoyed.
- They have unexplained bruises, burns, or scars.
- They develop bed sores or other preventable conditions.
- They appear messy and unclean.
[Source: National Institute on Aging].
If at any point during your loved one’s stay in a nursing home they show signs of abuse or neglect, contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. to speak with a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago, IL.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601