Having a discussion with a loved one about moving into a nursing home or an assisted living facility can be difficult. Some people are more than willing to see the move as a new adventure, where they will encounter new friends and start a new phase of their life. Some, though, tie living independently to their dignity and self-worth. These conversations are challenging because we want to respect the person’s dignity and independence, while also balancing those considerations against the risks of our loved one living alone.
These challenges grow when we hear news about abuse at an assisted living facility. When a loved one moves into or is placed in a nursing home, the facility makes a promise to you and your loved one that it will provide care and protection for your loved one. Unfortunately, these promises are too often broken.
For example, in a recent Columbia news’ story a local assisted living facility, Parkside Manor, an employee was fired after the facility learned of allegations that the employee assaulted a resident.
According to the KMIZ report, a CNA allegedly struck a resident multiple times when the resident attempted to leave his/her bed. Although the CNA denied the claims, the story claims the facility was able to substantiate the report and fired the employee. The facility also informed state investigators that it would provide training to its employees about abuse. If abuse were to occur again, the facility agreed to clock an alleged abusive employee out and notify the state within two hours of any allegation of abuse.
While the facility’s response is encouraging, KMIZ also noted that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services responded to four complaints at the facility over the previous year. Additionally, KMIZ also reported that a resident, Barbara Berry, died in a “whirlpool tub while bathing unattended” in the facility.
According to KMIZ, the Department of Health cited Parkside Manor for “not having a federally required alarm system in the bathing area where Berry died.” A year before that, Parkside Manor investigated another death at Parkside Manor when a resident died and was found with five fentanyl patches on him/her, “exceeding the resident’s prescribed limit.”
Although “accidents happen,” many times accidents at nursing home facilities are preventable. Errors happen because of some breakdown in the facility’s policies and procedures, or because the facility failed to adopt standard procedures issued by the state or federal government. If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility and want to know what steps you can take to check for signs of abuse or neglect, please read our post here. If you suspect abuse or neglect has occurred or is occurring, call us for a free one-on-one discussion about whether the facility is living up to the promises it makes to you and your loved one.