Health Officials Hear More Complaints About Nursing Facilities

There are more than 400 nursing facilities across North Carolina and South Carolina designed to provide therapy and safe homes for thousands of seniors.

But a woman from Concord, NC is complaining that her husband was severely neglected at one of them. Some local health officials said despite how highly regulated the system is, they hear dozens of similar complaints every week and worry that recent Medicare cuts will only make things worse.

Charlotte’s Eyewitness News went through hundreds of pages of inspection records investigating and researching complaints of medical errors, falls and wandering senior residents.

Mamie Robinson was skeptical about bringing her husband to Avante at Concord in May after his stroke, but he needed therapy. Robinson said that even though she was hesitant to leave her husband, the facility seemed clean and the people were friendly.

But by August, she said Angrus was losing weight dramatically. She said he complained his throat hurt and he couldn’t swallow his food. Robinson said she had complained to the staff for the whole Month of August, but the staff essentially ignored her worries.

Then, in September Robison demanded they rush her husband to the hospital. There, she said doctors found an infection in his throat and deep bedsores.

Health care professionals worry that they recent Medicare cuts will make instances like this far more frequent because facilities will receive less money for patients like Robinson.

Using Medicare.gov, Eyewitness News discovered more than 30 facilities within 50 miles of Charlotte ranked “below average” or “much below average” according to health inspections.

It is important for family members of loved ones in nursing homes to be actively alert and observant when they visit nursing home. Family members should visit frequently and shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions or bring up issues with the staff if necessary.