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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysThe House Veterans Affairs Committee has begun an intensive investigation into the quality of care at 133 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes after it was revealed that the VA itself ranks most of its facilities as seriously lacking. The agency’s internal rankings of its nursing homes had been kept secret for years, but they are now available for the public to view. The data is grim. Almost half of all VA nursing homes have been assigned the lowest possible score with regards to cleanliness, safety, and quality of patient care.

VA Facilities at Greater Risk for Pain and Medical Complications

Tragically, studies show that care for American war veterans is shockingly insufficient. An investigation headed by USA Today and The Boston Globe found that 60 VA nursing homes were given a score of one star out of five. In over two-thirds of VA nursing homes, patients were found to have higher rates of pain and a higher incidence of bedsores than nursing homes in the private sector. Residents in VA nursing homes show a greater decline in their quality of life than nursing home residents in private facilities.

Illinois nursing homes did not fare particularly well on quality-of-care rankings. The facility in Danville, IL, scored one out of five stars in part due to a resident who had a catheter left in their bladder. The lowest possible score for nursing home quality is one star. Other two-star nursing home facilities had high rates of bedsores and residents slipping and falling. The best-rated home in Illinois was in North Chicago and earned three stars out of five.

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Winnebago County nursing home abuse attorneysAs the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more individuals are seeking the 24/7 care that nursing homes offer. One study suggests that over half of the current U.S population will need to stay in a nursing home, at least temporarily, at one point in their lives or another. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are not able to manage the increasing number of residents. Understaffed nursing homes or staff who are not properly trained can leave residents without the help and resources they need. When left unchecked, nursing home neglect and abuse can be deadly.

Nursing Home Abuse and Mistreatment Shockingly Common

The most vulnerable among us deserve to be cared for and respected by nursing home staff. Sadly, many nursing home residents find themselves in facilities that do not make residents’ needs the staff’s top priority. Some nursing home staff even purposely harm the residents. A congressional report found that almost a third of all U.S nursing homes were guilty of safety and regulatory violations which put residents at increased risk of harm. Surveys show that almost half of nursing home residents have reported being mistreated at some point in their stay. Even more concerning, an astounding 95 percent of nursing home residents claim to have personally witnessed staff neglecting other residents.

Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect

One of the most tragic realities about nursing home abuse and neglect is that many residents are unable to communicate what is happening to them. Residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be especially vulnerable to mistreatment. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs of neglect or abuse such as:

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