Federal standards passed in 1987 were meant to correct the problems with nursing home abuse. But poor care is still occurring all too frequently. The main reason is that state agencies responsible for monitoring nursing home standards are challenged to find the resources necessary to investigate complaints.
These problems are frequently due to an insufficient number of staff employed at the nursing homes. Nursing home residents are often cared for by Certified Nursing Assistants. A CNA is sometimes responsible for 15 or more patients. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to give each one the individualized care needed.
In difficult economic times, many regulatory agencies are finding themselves with reducing funding, and are being forced to do more with less people. Getting into a home to check for problems can take time, and by the time the investigation occurs, the nursing home may have already addressed the issue.
Nursing home lawsuits are on the rise because of the many problems that are being unaddressed. Families are forced to witness their loved ones experience abysmal nursing home conditions and know the government is not doing anything to help out.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home or long term care facility is a difficult and emotional decision to make. While there are many qualified, safe facilities in New Jersey, it is important to be aware that substandard nursing home care is a relevant problem.