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Nursing home neglect brings special focus on Pennsylvania home

Nursing homes are responsible for safety, good health, well-trained and abundant staff and quality programming in order to provide optimal care for elders. Most homes receive financial payments from Medicare and Medicaid and depend on those payments for the facility's survival. When a facility faces challenges, it can be classified as a “special focus facility” in which the facility is investigated and problems are addressed. A recent news story tells about a Pennsylvania nursing home, as well as homes in other states, that face such special focus due to issues with nursing home neglect and other problems.

When residents of nursing homes fall, are abused or receive other suboptimal care, those incidents are reported. When so many incidents are reported, the nursing home them may be placed into the special focus category for additional scrutiny and improvements. When the quality of care is improved, the home is taken back off the list. Unfortunately, the statistics show that over half of the nursing homes that are taken off the special focus lists continue to have problems and poor medical care.

One issue facing a Pennsylvania nursing home is a shortage of nursing staff. Golden LivingCenter-West Shore was on the special focus list for 17 months. It was taken back off the list, but still has one of the worst nurse-to-patient staffing ratios with only 12 minutes per day per patient. In 2015, the facility was cited for maggots in a patient's feeding tube, and also settled three other patient injury cases.

Elders under medical care in Pennsylvania are entitled to remain free from nursing home neglect and improper care. Patients and families should do their research when it comes to choosing a nursing home. If a nursing home resident is injured due to neglect, a lawyer can be a resource to help families get justice for their family member and help other residents when the facility increases their standard of care.

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