Nursing Homes in Arkansas

According to, there are 219 nursing homes in Arkansas. Of these skilled nursing facilities, approximately 62% rate as average or above on the quality of care they provide, whereas 38% fall below average or much lower. These poor levels of health care fall well below the Arkansas Medicaid and Medicare acceptable standards.

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities often hire unqualified personal nursing care or hospice employees who fail to adequately care for nursing home residents. Sometimes they don't train their employees properly so they don’t know how to care for patients.

What are Neglect and Abuse?

Negligence is defined as failing to meet the minimum standards for providing care. Abuse is defined as intentionally causing harm to a person who cannot defend themselves. It includes physical or sexual assault, mental or emotional abuse, financial exploitation, abandonment or self-neglect, and other forms of mistreatment.

Mistreatment still happens in many Arkansas skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, long-term health facilities, and rehab facilities. Here are some examples of the types of abuse that occur in these facilities.

Failure to Protect Residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities From all Forms of Abuse and Neglect

The signs of physical abuse are usually obvious when the patient expresses fear, depression, unexplained cuts and bruises, and untreated injuries. Less common indicators of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Arkansas might involve preventable bedsores, malnourishment, dehydration, unsanitary conditions, and poor personal hygiene. Problems at Arkansas nursing homes include:

  • Failed to ensure that their Abuse Policy and Procedure included how to report the allegations of abuse within two hours after a cognitively impaired patient revealed an injury of unknown origin, and the LPN failed to remember the exact date the incident occurred. (Bentley Rehabilitation Center, Texarkana, Arkansas)
  • Failed to ensure that an injury of unknown origin was immediately reported to the facility administrator, resulting in delays in an investigation that would rule out neglect or abuse. (Chambers Nursing Home Center, Carlisle, Arkansas)
  • Failed to ensure that an exit door alarm was functioning, resulting in a patient at high risk for elopement wandering away from the facility after a bystander picked up a male patient at a gas station and transported him to the hospital. (Conway Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Conway, Arkansas)

Failure to Protect Residents in Arkansas Nursing Homes From Accident Hazards

Skilled nursing facilities are legally obligated to provide adequate supervision and monitoring to avoid hazardous situations. Common problems associated with dangerous conditions in Arkansas nursing homes include:

  • Failing to ensure a resident who was a high risk for eloping wore a Wander Guard Transmitter that required consistent monitoring when the resident was found outside the facility lying in the grass. (Autumn Hill, Berryville, Arkansas)
  • Failing to ensure that falls were promptly and thoroughly investigated for causative factors, implement fall interventions to increase potential falls for those at risk of falling. (Barnes Healthcare Nursing Home, Lonoke, Arkansas)
  • Failing to ensure medications were not left at the resident's bedside and failing to conduct an assessment after an incident resulted in bruising. The deficiencies at the potential to affect 17 residents with cognitive impairments. (Barnes Healthcare Nursing Home, Lonoke, Arkansas)

Failure to Implement and Follow Infection Protection Protocols in Nursing Homes

Infections and other contagious diseases could be easily transferred from one resident to another patient, visitor, or employee if the staff in nursing homes in Arkansas failed to follow established infection protection protocols. Common problems associated with the spread of infection in Arkansas nursing homes include:

  • Failing to ensure Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines were followed to protect residents from Covid-19, increasing the potential risk of spreading infection that affects all 46 residents. (Autumn Hill, Berryville, Arkansas)
  • Failing to ensure infection prevention and control practices were implemented involving possible Covid-19 transmission when staff failed to wear face masks to cover the mouth and nose. (Arbor Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center)

Other Safety Concerns in Nursing Homes

Another safety concern at Arkansas nursing homes includes a failure to notify the resident's family members or doctor when there is a significant decline in the resident's health. Also, some facilities did not ensure that their patient's medication regimens remained free from unnecessary medications, including antianxiety and antipsychotic drugs.

  • Failed to ensure residents' rooms were free of pests to prevent the potential spread of infectious disease. The deficiency could have affected all 74 residents. (Care Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mountain Home, Arkansas)
  • Failed to permit a resident to return to the Arkansas nursing home after hospitalization or therapeutic leave exceeds the rehabilitation center's bed hold policy. (Community Compassion Center of Yellville, Yellville, Arkansas)

How to Tell if Your Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Home

Unfortunately, abuse and neglect in skilled nursing centers are all too common. In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, one in ten Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse.

Below are common signs that your loved one may be abused in their skilled nursing facility.

  • Unexplained changes in demeanor: The skilled nursing resident who was always happy and talkative may now be withdrawn and quiet.
  • Bruises, cuts, or other injuries: Senior living residents who suddenly have unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries may be experiencing abuse.
  • Changes in eating habits: An Arkansas nursing home resident who suddenly stops eating may be a sign that they are being neglected.
  • Changes in sleeping habits: A nursing home resident who suddenly starts sleeping all the time or all night may be experiencing abuse.
  • Depression or anxiety: Senior living residents who start exhibiting signs of depression or anxiety may be experiencing abuse.
  • Poor hygiene: Senior living residents exhibiting poor hygiene might not receive the care they need.
  • Weight loss: Rehabilitation center residents who lose weight unexpectedly may not get the nutrition they need.
  • Infections: Residents who suddenly contract infections may not receive the proper care.
  • Limited mobility: Residents who have difficulty moving around may not get the necessary exercise.
  • Loss of appetite: Senior living residents who lose their appetite may not get the food they need to stay healthy.

If you notice any of these signs or if your loved one has complained about mistreatment while living in a nursing home, it is important to speak up and take action.

You can start by talking to the nursing staff about your concerns. If they are not responsive or if the abuse continues, you may need to contact an attorney or the police. It is also important to keep a close eye on your loved one's condition and ensure they get the care and support they need.

Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Life-Threatening Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers (bedsores, pressure wounds, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers) are skin injuries that can develop when a person is confined to a bed or chair for a long period. The constant pressure on the skin can cut off the blood supply to that area, damaging the skin and tissue below.

If nursing home staff does not check the resident's skin frequently for redness or swelling, or if they do not turn and reposition the resident often enough, pressure ulcers can develop. These sores can be extremely painful and can sometimes lead to infection. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can eventually lead to death.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, common bedsore causes include:

  • Lack of Daily Skin Assessment: Patients with a high risk of developing bedsores must undergo a daily skin assessment to identify any signs of the condition. Failure to do so can lead to severe ulcers that can be life-threatening.
  • Inadequate Turning and Positioning: Nursing residents must be turned and repositioned regularly to avoid pressure ulcers. Failure to do so can lead to the development of these sores.
  • Limited Mobility: Patients who cannot move around independently are at high risk for developing pressure ulcers. They cannot change positions independently, leading to prolonged pressure on certain body areas.
  • Incontinence: Nursing home residents who are incontinent are at an increased risk for developing pressure ulcers, as they often do not have the opportunity to clean the area frequently enough.
  • Poor Nutrition: Residents who are not well-nourished are also at risk for developing pressure ulcers, as their bodies will be less able to fight off infection.
  • Bed sores: A nursing home resident's skin can break down and form bed sores if it is constantly in contact with a surface, such as a bed or a wheelchair.
  • Age: The older skilled nursing patient is, the higher their risk for developing pressure ulcers. It is because their skin becomes less elastic and more fragile with age.
  • Illness: Senior living residents suffering from an illness or infection are more likely to develop pressure ulcers than healthy ones.
  • Smoking increases the risk of developing pressure ulcers, damaging the blood vessels and slowing wound healing.
  • Alcoholism: Individuals who abuse alcohol are also at an increased risk for developing pressure ulcers, as their ability to heal wounds is compromised by their drinking habits.
  • Diabetes: Residents with diabetes are more likely to develop pressure ulcers, as they often have poor circulation and nerve function.
  • Poor Hygiene: If residents in Arkansas nursing homes do not have access to proper hygiene facilities, they are at an increased risk of developing pressure ulcers due to bacteria build-up and infection.
  • Lack of Pain Management: If nursing home residents are in pain, they may not be able to move around as much as they should, leading to the development of pressure ulcers.
  • Stress: Nursing residents under a great deal of stress may be less likely to move around as much as they should, leading to the development of pressure ulcers.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Mistreatment

Nursing home negligence can lead to life-threatening pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are injuries that can develop when a person is confined to a bed or chair for a long period of time. The constant pressure on the skin can cut off the blood supply to that area, damaging the skin and tissue below.

If nursing home staff does not check the resident's skin frequently for redness or swelling, or if they do not turn and reposition the resident often enough, pressure ulcers can develop. These sores can be extremely painful and can sometimes lead to infection. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can eventually lead to death.

  • Physical Punishment or Injury: The most common type of physical abuse involves hitting, slapping, spitting, tripping, and pushing residents. This can result in bruises, cuts, broken bones, and even death.
  • Verbal Abuse includes yelling, swearing, and insulting residents. It can lead to emotional distress and even depression.
  • Sexual Abuse: Incidents can involve unwanted touching, rape, and sexual exploitation. This can cause physical and emotional injuries.
  • Neglect: This includes not providing necessary care such as food, water, clean clothes, or medical attention. It can lead to health problems and even death.
  • Financial Abuse includes stealing money or possessions from residents, forcing them to sign over property or benefits, or using their money without permission. This can leave residents penniless and vulnerable.
  • Social Isolation includes preventing residents from interacting with family and friends, withholding information about their care, or restricting their movements. It can leave residents feeling alone and hopeless.
  • Unauthorized Use of Medication: Residents may be given the wrong medication or dosage, which can have serious consequences.

If you believe your loved one has developed a pressure ulcer due to nursing home negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home and receive financial compensation for your loved one's injuries.

Nursing Homes Must Implement Infection Prevention and Control Protocols

All Arkansas facilities meeting Medicare and Medicaid eligibility for financial assistance must follow established protocols when providing health care to Arkansas residents. Any failure by the skilled nursing staff could result in violations involving negligent behavior.

Common problems associated with not enforcing infection prevention and control protocols include:

  • Failing to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The nursing staff must follow certain protocols with any patient on contact isolation, including wearing PPE (gowns, gloves, face shields, etc.) to safeguard against the spread of infection.
  • Failing to sanitize hands and equipment: To prevent the spread of infection in nursing homes, the staff must sanitize their hands and equipment between residents and between tasks.
  • Not washing hands after contact with residents: All staff in nursing homes should wash their hands after any contact with a patient, especially before they eat or touch their own face.
  • Not cleaning environmental surfaces: The nursing staff must regularly clean surfaces such as door knobs, bed rails, and countertops and often use a disinfectant.
  • Failing to clean medical equipment: The nursing staff is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting all medical equipment after each use.
  • Allowing contaminated linens to accumulate: Nursing staff must change bed linen and dispose of it promptly when it is soiled.
  • Not providing adequate food and hydration: Residents in nursing homes need adequate food and hydration to stay healthy.
  • Not supervising residents: Nursing home staff must constantly be on the lookout for changes in a resident's condition and report them to a supervisor.
  • Failing to provide necessary care: Nursing home staff must provide necessary care to residents based on their specific needs.
  • Allowing residents to wander unsupervised: Nursing home staff must keep residents at risk of wandering and safely confined within the facility.
  • Ignoring resident complaints: If a patient complains of pain or discomfort, nursing home staff should investigate it immediately.

By failing to use proper personal protective equipment, not washing hands after contact with residents, not cleaning environmental surfaces, not cleaning medical equipment, and allowing contaminated linens to accumulate, the staff can easily spread infection throughout the skilled nursing facility.

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