When you decide to move your loved one into a nursing home, you think the hard part is over. You wrestled with the decision for months – or even years. You explain to your mom or dad that you just can’t care for them on your own. You move them away from everything they know and love. You think you can finally get on with life. You visit your loved one as often as possible and do your homework to make sure they’re being taken care of okay. So, what happens if you read a story in the paper that says the nursing home was cited for violations? Every nursing home – private or state-funded – must pass rigorous inspections. These inspections are done by both the state government and local agencies. They look at several things. Their goal is to make sure the nursing home is safe for their residents. They also want to make sure all the residents are being taken care of properly.
It can be quite jarring to learn that your loved one’s nursing home was cited for violations. The problem is, you probably have no idea how bad this news really is. What were they cited for? Were they given time to fix them? And, is your loved one at risk? A lot of people aren’t really sure what to do in times like this. Is it a good idea to move your loved one to a different facility? Or, should you wait it out and see if the facility fixes the things they were cited for?
While a nursing home abuse lawyer in Columbia can’t make the decision for you, they can help. They can inquire with the nursing home to see just how bad the inspection was. They can also ask to see your loved one’s medical records to make sure they’re being properly cared for. They can get the information that you may not be able to get. This is why it’s a good idea to call and talk to our office sooner rather than later.
How Common is it for a Nursing Home to Fail a State Inspection?
Very few people want to hear this, but most nursing homes are cited at some point during a state inspection. Very rarely does a facility get a perfect score – especially the first time around. The state doesn’t always let the facility know they’re coming in. So, if it’s a surprise inspection, it could be a matter of the nursing home not being ready for a survey. Even when the inspection is scheduled, it can be hard to get all their ducks in a row before the state comes in.
The good news is that most citations are for minor things. Most nursing homes are given a chance to fix the violations and have the state come back. However, if the state finds major health or care violations, they may shut the facility down pending a re-inspection. If this happens, you won’t have a choice – you’ll have to transfer your loved one. Make sure to do your research if you have to select a new nursing home.
What Kinds of Things Can Cause a Nursing Home to Fail a Survey?
There are all sorts of reasons why a nursing home could fail a state inspection. They may not have enough staff members to meet their patient to staff ratio. For example, if they have a staff to patient ratio of 3:1, then they need 3 nursing staff for every 3 residents. If the state finds that during the middle of the night this ratio falls to 2:1, they could have a problem.
Another reason a nursing home can fail an inspection has to do with cleanliness. For example, if the inspectors find that the nurses are keeping their lunch in the same refrigerator as patient medications and insulin, that is a problem. And, while this may not sound that serious, if your loved one’s medication is impacted by spoiled food, they can get sick or even die.
Call Our Office if Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Was Cited for Violations
If you fear that your loved one is in danger in their current nursing home, give us a call. You can meet with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer who can look into the case. They can check to see why the nursing home failed their survey. They can also check to see that your loved one has been treated properly.