Nursing Homes: A Failed Experiment

Here is an interesting article about attorney Ken Connor’s appearance for an advocacy group for nursing home reform.  The seminar was titled “Nursing Homes: A Failed Experiment,”.  Connor’s appearance was sponsored by the advocacy group Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform.

Connor said he classified nursing homes as “a failed experiment” because the current system puts the economics of the provider ahead of the life, health and safety of the residents.

“In other words, they put profit over people; they put revenue over residents,” he said.

To increase profit, Connor said, staffing is cut. And some nursing homes are run by businessmen who have never been doctors or nurses and don’t have any expertise in the medical field. They are, however, good at making money.

It’s important for people to be educated about this issue — to know what to do if they are confronted with a problem and know where to file a complaint. It’s also good to know where to find support.

Connor urged the crowd to pay attention to signs such as pressure ulcers, infections, urine and feces-stained bed linen and foul odors. Also, the hollow eyes and parched tongues of loved ones display the lack of time devoted to them.

Connor said nursing home problems are pervasive throughout the country.   “Corral your congressmen and senators and make them understand the breadth of the problem,” he said.

Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform work to change state law so criminal background checks and random drug tests are required for all nursing home employees. They are fighting to ensure there is a minimum staffing standard.

Kentucky has cited about one in four nursing homes for serious deficiencies that caused “actual harm” or “immediate jeopardy”.