Maintaining an Unsafe Environment

Is Your West Tennessee Nursing Home Maintaining a Safe Environment?

Protecting the rights of clients abused in nursing homes in Memphis, Jackson and beyond

By the year 2050, Americans aged 65 and older will account for about 20 percent of the population in the United States according to U.S. Census figures. As the elderly population in this country expands, more and more Americans will find themselves living in nursing homes and elder care facilities. As the population at these facilities expands, the capacity of their staff may not be expanding at the same pace, which can lead to nursing home residents not getting the care and attention they need in order to be maintain health and wellbeing.

If you are concerned that your loved one might be facing neglect or abuse in a West Tennessee nursing home, Bailey & Greer, PLLC’s nursing home negligence attorneys in Jackson and Memphis are here to help you get justice on their behalf. We stand up for those who do not have a voice, seeking justice for those who have been harmed by another person’s negligence.

Nursing homes must meet state and federal safety standards

Nursing home residents often need around the clock attention, care and supervision, but many end up neglected, abused and forgotten. In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Law following a report to Congress which revealed widespread issues of abuse, neglect and inadequate care in nursing homes throughout the country. The Nursing Home Reform Law was enacted in order to establish national standards and rights that each resident would be provided with services that would maintain their physical, mental and social well-being.

The Tennessee Division of Health Care Facilities (HCF) through the Department of Health and the Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities, establish the criteria and manage the inspection process for the annual licensing of nursing homes. Because these facilities receive significant federal funding through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, they are also subject to federal guidelines promulgated by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The HCF conducts annual surveys and investigates complaints in order to comply with federal and state regulations for nursing homes.

Examples of unsafe nursing home environments

Wet floors and poorly maintained floor surfaces that can create a falling hazard:

  • Defective equipment
  • Inadequate security
  • Unsanitary kitchen area
  • Understaffed facility
  • Broken lightbulbs, poorly lit hallways
  • Unclean environment

One of the primary requirements of a skilled nursing facility is that they maintain a safe environment that is clean and where residents are cared for properly. When a nursing home fails to provide a safe environment, accidents and injuries can happen such as:

  • Falls
  • Elopement or wandering due to lax security measures
  • Resident on resident abuse
  • Outsiders gaining entrance and hurting residents

Consequences of failing to maintain a safe environment

Surveys are conducted unannounced and the inspections involve a team of inspectors who spend several days in the facility making sure that it meets federal and state safety regulations, and that they are providing care in an environment that is safe, clean and managed effectively. When CMS identifies a facility that has a high number of deficiencies they give the facility the opportunity to correct those deficiencies. If the situation is not corrected to the satisfaction of CMS inspectors, the nursing facility could lose federal funding and face fines.

When you are researching nursing homes, CMS has a Nursing Home Compare website which provides the results of the surveys. When you visit the facility you can request to see a copy of their latest survey, which should identify the areas in which they were found to be deficient.

If your loved one was injured because of the nursing home’s failure to maintain a safe environment, we want to talk to you. We will advocate for your loved one’s rights and make sure that they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Are you dealing with nursing home neglect? Bailey & Greer is here to help you

When you have a loved one who has been injured or neglected by a nursing home, you want to get justice for them as soon as possible. We can help. We are strong advocates for our clients and their family members in nursing homes throughout Memphis, Jackson and West Tennessee. You are welcome to contact the law office of Bailey & Greer, PLLC and schedule a free initial consultation 901-680-9777.