Six veterans’ groups are demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs improve the quality of care at VA nursing homes. USA Today and The Boston Globe find many facilities across the country show a blatant disregard for safety. It is so bad that many of these places have only a one-star rating. Yet, this rating system in place for years was kept secret from veterans.
About Nursing Home Abuse
Each year in the United States, an estimated 2.1 million seniors are the victims of some form of abuse. Many elderly do not report the abuse or neglect. In fact, 1 in 6 doesn’t report. Unfortunately, abused elders die earlier than their well cared for counterparts. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the maltreatment and abuse of the elderly is a significant problem among the elderly population in America. It is more common in women over age 80. Also, those who are abused are at a 300 percent increase of dying within three years.
Neglect in VA Nursing Homes
The investigation into the serious neglect in VA nursing homes began in Massachusetts. Investigators found sleeping nurses on shifts, unemptied bedside urinals, dirty water and frequent ignoring of veterans. This substandard care is seen across the country. A Veteran in other facilities had undiagnosed scabies for months. Another report stated a veteran sat in soiled sheets for hours consumed by pain without any medication. Then, an Army vet needed the ICU after malnutrition, septic shock and bed sores after a stay at a VA nursing home in California.
Many veterans groups are pleading for change. The VA has 133 nursing homes across the country that serve 46,000 veterans annually. Many scored worse than private nursing homes in a new never before released ranking system.
VA Nursing Homes Rankings
Before June of this year, the VA kept secret rankings of their nursing homes. When news organizations threatened to release them, the department made them publically available. The results are shocking. Over 70% of VA nursing homes scored worse than private nursing homes on a majority of quality indicators, such as rates of infection, serious pain and bed sores. Also, the same percentage only scored one or two stars (out of five) for quality. America’s heroes deserve better.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. When an abuser injures a resident at a care facility, it is not always obvious what happened and legal liability. The evidence available is often incomplete and may be self-serving for the defendant – the nursing home. This is why a free consultation with us is so important. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.