Houston, TX- Choosing the right nursing home for a senior can be difficult task, but in Texas it can be a nearly impossible task as the state was recently criticized for having the worst nursing homes in the U.S.
When analyzing the quality of care, nursing home residents receive in each state, a non-profit that advocates for the elderly, Families for Better Care, ranked Texas homes as the worst in the country. Facilities in the state were given six “F” grades in eight of the non-profit’s metrics which include the amount of one-on-care a resident receives and minor or severe deficiencies.
On average, Texas facilities only offered residents 2.4 hours of direct staffing care each day; for optimal care a resident should receive at least four hours of one-on-one care each day. Without enough direct care a resident’s health cannot be sufficiently monitored and they can easily be targeted by abusers. Texas earned an “F” in this category along with the number of hours in care residents receive from registered nurses.
Only seven states in the U.S. offer residents over an hour of professional nursing care. In Texas, the amount of time professional nursing care was far less than necessary with residents only getting a half an hour of this critical care.
Another metric which Texas failed were the number or minor and severe deficiencies issued in the state. Over 94 percent of facilities were cited for minor deficiencies, but an alarming 16.42 percent of homes were cited for severe deficiencies. Severe deficiencies are events in which a patient’s personal safety or lives are in imminent danger.
“It seems skeleton crews are working the hallways of Texas nursing homes,” said Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care. “With so few staff to care for residents, it’s not surprising that less than 20 percent of Texas nursing homes scored above average inspection ratings and almost 95 percent were cited one or more deficiencies.”
What’s even worst for Texas nursing homes is that the state’s ombudsmen verified 92.19 percent of complaints their offices received.
Those figures should be alarming to any thinking of putting their loved one in Houston nursing home, but not all homes in the state have such dismal records. Careful research should help Texas residents choose a home that will offer quality care and shield their loved one from abuse or neglect.
The key protecting your loved one is to choose a facility that has adequate staffing since the abuse and neglect is prevalent in facilities that lack enough staff. Without enough staff, a patient’s basic needs are neglected, and for the elderly substandard care can lead to prolonged health problems and even death.
While you there are steps you can take to prevent your loved ones from being abused or neglected in a Houston nursing home, there is no guarantee it will never happen. When and if it does, you can depend on a Houston nursing home abuse attorney to seek justice on your behalf. They will forcefully pursue and facility to assure your loved one gets the compensation they deserve.