When our loved ones move into a nursing home, we hope that they are safe and getting the best care possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Thankfully, both the state and federal governments provide oversight of Tennessee nursing homes. Although government inspections can’t totally eliminate the risk of nursing home abuse and neglect, they can help uncover the most egregious problems.
Earlier this month, the Tennessee Department of Health lifted its ban on admissions to Bristol Nursing Home. Admissions had been suspended after the facility fell out of compliance with state licensing rules.
A state inspection found that the facility did not have sufficient staffing levels given the number of patients who resided there. On some days, there were only three certified nursing assistants present. In addition, the inspection revealed that the facility did not have appropriate practices in place to document patient needs and adverse incidents.
In at least one case, inspectors found that the nursing home’s staff had failed to notify doctors that a patient had elevated blood sugar and needed psychiatric help.
Perhaps most troubling, though, were accusations that the facility was not doing enough to protect residents from physical abuse at the hands of two violent and psychologically unstable patients. These patients allegedly kicked, pushed and punched other residents. One of them may have even sexually assaulted some of the female residents.
The admissions ban was lifted after Bristol provided proof that it had remedied these problems.
Every nursing home patient has a right to feel safe and secure and to be treated with respect. If you suspect your loved one may be unsafe, neglected or abused, don’t hesitate to report the situation to the Department of Health or local law enforcement.
Source: TriCities.com, “Update: Bristol Nursing Home Admissions Suspension Lifted,” Michael Owens, April 18, 2012.