New Report Shows Which States Have Worst Nursing Home Abuse Rates

nursing home abuseFlorida-Based Advocacy Group Against Nursing Home Abuse Released Report Grading States on Performance

An elder advocacy group fighting against nursing home abuse released a report on Friday, August 9th, grading states on eight different federal quality measures to see which states are guilty of the worst nursing home abuse, and which states are the best places for senior citizens.

Families for Better Care, the Florida-based group, published this first-of-its kind report. Qualities investigated included percentage of facilities per state with serious reported deficiencies, to number of hours frontline caregivers averaged per resident per day.

“We’re excited about getting this report into the hands of public officials, nursing home owners, advocates, and—most importantly—residents and their families,” said Brian Lee, Families for Better Care’s executive director.  “Our goal is to applaud those states that provide good care while motivating improvement for those that score poorly.”

States that got As: Alaska, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Oregon, Maine, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota and North Dakota. Alaska, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire were particularly good states for elder care.

States that got Fs: Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Illinois and Iowa. Of these states, Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana had the worst ratings.

“You’ve got to be able to have a good vetting process to be able to determine which people, the caregivers, are going to treat the residents with dignity and respect,” Lee says. “You’ve got to hire the right people. State officials need to hold nursing homes accountable. And nursing homes need to hold themselves accountable and step up and start providing better care.”

As expected, states that had the best nursing home care and lower nursing home abuse rates had facilities with larger staffs, which devoted more care to residents daily.

“A distinctive trend differentiated the good states from the bad states,” Lee exclaimed. “States whose nursing homes staffed at higher levels ranked far better than those with fewer staffing hours …The data reflect what academicians, residents, families, and ombudsmen have heralded for years; the higher the staffing levels, the better the care.”

The report also found that in about half the states surveyed, 1 in 5 nursing homes were guilty of nursing home abuse, neglect, or mistreating residents. Additionally, 96% of states offered residents fewer than three hours of direct residential care per day.

The elderly population is expected to rise 40% in the next decade, as the Baby Boomers age past retirement. Advocates say that improvements must be made, and soon, as such a huge portion of the population is already in nursing homes, and the facilities are already overwhelmed. Nursing home abuse problems must be stopped with more and better staff, and strict guidelines for reporting nursing home abuse.

The Strom Law Defends Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one has faced nursing home abuse, you do not have to suffer in silence. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We are here to help. 803.252.4800.