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Is Nursing Home Abuse Increasing Or Just Reported More Often?

Is Nursing Home Abuse Increasing?With continued emphasis on nursing home care abuse and deficient care issues, the statistics on reported abuse continues to be high. Whether these numbers are high due to the abuse actually increasing or that public focus on the issue has brought more people forward to report abuse, it is hard to say. However, the fact is that these nursing homes are having abuse reported and the issue is not going away.

How Abuse is Reported

Nursing home abuse can be reported through the each state’s government. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has hotlines available to report any elder abuse, whether it is in the home or at a long-term facility. Each state has its own abuse hotline number . Once elder abuse is reported, an Adult Protection Service (APS) caseworker is assigned. An investigation then follows to determine whether the reported abuse is happening and at what level.

Abuse reports for nursing homes are tallied each year. Along with abuse reports, nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid are also rated on a five-star basis, five stars being the best. This information is located on the Medicare website www.mediacre.gov where you can search and find the rating for any Medicare-certified nursing home facility in the U.S.

Illinois Nursing Home Ratings

Unfortunately, the nursing homes in Illinois still have some work to do. Illinois contains 773 certified Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes. The overall average Medicare 5 Star Quality rating for Illinois skilled nursing homes is 3. This is a ranking of  43 nationally. Considering that only seven states out of 50 are ranked lower, there is much room for improvement.

The number of complaints in Medicare nursing home facilities in Illinois is also high. The statistics are broken down into four sections, the percentage of facilities with no complaints, 1 complaint, 2 complaint and 3 or more complaints. Guess which section had the highest percentage? 43% of facilities had 3 or more complaints in one year. 73% of all facilities had at least one complaint.

To continue efforts to stop elder abuse, any case where it is suspected needs to be reported. The NCEA hotline can direct you to the state’s hotline where the facility you wish to report is located. Their number is 1-800-677-1116. In Illinois, the number to call for long-term care facility abuse is 1-800-252-8966. If the person being abused is in immediate danger, always call 911.

It is all of our responsibilities to protect our elderly and hold the facilities that are paid to maintain their care responsible when abuse happens. The only way to reduce the number abuse cases reported is to stop the abuse.

For more information about nursing home abuse in your state: 

http://www.skillednursingfacilities.org/directory/il/

 

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