Under-regulation of long-term care facilities may allow for-profit nursing homes to cut unnecessary corners. Those cut corners often lead to general understaffing and resident harm in the pursuit of profits.
It is up to governing bodies and communities to hold these facilities accountable. A recent proposal indicates Pennsylvania wants to take a look at its current regulations.
Department of Health proposals
According to City & State Pennsylvania, nearly one in four residents experience abuse in a long-term care facility. The elderly are not in the best position to advocate for themselves. This makes it difficult to track abuse without better oversight.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health proposed a major overhaul to nursing home regulations. This is the first big change in regulations in almost 25 years but amends many of the old standards. These changes include facility licensure, crisis preparedness and clarifying the rights of nursing home residents.
Amendments also include clarifying details about the closure and construction of facilities. Another initiative aims to remove duplicative requirements between federal and state law. It is unclear when or if these changes may come into effect.
Nursing home neglect
While these changes are a step in the right direction, people who have loved ones in nursing homes today have a lot to deal with. Nursing home neglect may include serious harm like falling accidents. That does not discount the more subtle forms of neglect like lack of care that results in dehydration or depression.
It is important for anyone to communicate with their family and investigate with reliable resources if they suspect their loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect.