Is There a High Risk for Nursing Homes Accepting Higher Needs Residents?
High risk, each time state inspectors visited one nursing home, they filled out dozens of pages with information regarding what they say was wrong. They documented everything from the man who refused to take his medication because he thought communists were trying to murder him to residents that had to use stairs because of a broken elevator. They recorded that the facility smelled of urine and that it was filthy.
This particular nursing home faced imminent shutdown. However, there were plenty of instances where a man threatened a nurse with an antenna and another man punched his roommate in the face. There was another with a history of sexual abuse who inappropriately touched a woman with a developmental disability.
The diagnoses for these residents were not listed by name. Instead, they were assigned numbers. These numbers indicated explosive personality disorder, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, suicidal, and many others.
Among the 130 people that were living at this facility, a number of them were registered sex offenders. Some of them were rapists and eight of them were convicted of sex crimes in other states. There were also a great number of them with violent backgrounds, such as the man who tried to kill his landlord and the other who had attacked several small children.
As action was taken to close this nursing home because of repeat violations, everyone seemed to agree that the people within the nursing home required high-quality care, but the way to achieve that was very complicated.
Does Higher Need Means Higher Risk?
Most everyone also agrees that housing such a high number of individuals who have so many special needs in one facility is not a very good idea. Once the facility closes, the state will have to look for new homes for the residents.
This echoes an issue that is happening in the Twin Cities in regards to the special needs of residents and overcrowding. This is why it seems as if there are senior housing facilities and nursing homes being erected all of the time. The overcrowding situation is being addressed through the building of additional facilities, which means that more staff will be needed. Facilities that are understaffed tend to lead to cases of nursing home abuse and neglect issues.
Throughout Minnesota, there have been issues of neglect attributed to understaffing or a lack of qualified workers. There seems to not be enough caregivers throughout the state to fill the void. As the population ages and the number of younger individuals needing the assistance of nursing homes increase, the demand is going to grow.
Through proper staffing, nursing homes can establish that balance of protecting residents and ensuring those that may be a threat get the care they need as well. The reason why all residents are in nursing homes, regardless of their pasts, is because they need medical attention. Most agree that they do deserve quality care at the end of their lives just like everyone else.
Reduce Injuries to Higher Risk Residents – Report Suspected Abuse and Neglect
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about or any form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.