Our elderly loved ones often need care in a nursing home if they face a mental condition like Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This study performed by the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York found that nursing homes with the highest Medicare rating are the ones least likely to admit patients with mental health conditions.
Even manageable conditions like depression and anxiety lower a resident’s chance of acceptance in the best facilities by 8%. With bipolar disorder, patients were 11% less likely to go to a five-star facility; the odds were 28% lower with schizophrenia, 27% lower with a substance abuse problem, and 32% lower with personality disorders.
Even after excluding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which are among the most common causes of nursing home admissions, people with other mental health conditions account for about 50% of all nursing home residents. Knowing these figures, we can only conclude that most five-star facilities are not accessible to the patients most in need.
As a result, what happens is patients with the most needs, such as those who need help with basic daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, end up in one-star facilities. These facilities receive low ratings due to violations in the quality of care. Meaning, these facilities are already not meeting their existing obligations to all their residents. Add a resident with many physical or mental needs to such a facility and the problem becomes worse.
When a resident with Alzheimer’s or another mental health condition has limited residency options and ends up in a one-star facility, that resident becomes more prone to nursing home neglect. One-star facilities have low ratings because they do not hire adequate staff, have poor training protocols, and may not even be well-versed in dealing with residents with mental health needs, even though many such residents are ending up in these facilities.
At the same time, we should all know that nursing home neglect can happen in any facility. The rate of nursing home neglect has been rising in Chicago and nationwide. Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys are here to help if you or your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home. With over 50 years of combined experience, we have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements. Our nursing home neglect lawyers are here for you. Call us at 1 (312) 384-1920 or 1(800) 693-1LAW, or reach us by email.