Colorado Nursing Homes Cited for Deficiencies

Staffing Critical in Nursing Home CareDenver, CO- Deciding to place an elderly or disabled loved in a nursing home or long-term care facility is a difficult decision for anyone. Choosing the right home is an even more daunting task, but Colorado residents can take some comfort in the fact that long-term care facilities in the state ranked well in recent national survey. But they aren’t free from problems.

A Florida-based non-profit, Families for Better Care gave facilities in the state a “B” grade after analyzing federal data. The non-profit, which advocates for improved care, also praised facilities in the state

On average, nursing home residents receive far less than one hour a day in registered nursing care in long-term care facilities. But in Colorado facilities, residents received nearly one hour of professional nursing care every day.

Professional nursing care improves the quality of care each resident receives because they are better trained to detect health problems and how to deal with emergency situations.

While the state ranked above the national average for professional nursing care, long-term care facilities received a high rank for professional nursing care, they scored poorly when it came to the amount of direct care they receive from staff. According to Families for Better Care, facilities provide 2.40 hours a day of direct care, which is slightly above the national average, but less than residents need

Additionally, Colorado facilities graded poorly when it came to deficiencies. One-third of facilities in the state were cited for minor and severe deficiencies.

Over 97 percent of facilities were cited for minor deficiencies such as keeping food that is too old or staff members taking too long to respond to requests for help.

Severe deficiencies were also an issue at Colorado nursing homes, with 76.10 of facilities receiving citations. Severe deficiencies were a nursing home resident is in imminent danger of harm or death. I some incidents nursing home residents were allowed to fall, were injured or wandered away from a facility because of a lack of oversight.

While the Colorado facilities ranked well overall, there is still room for improvement according to Families for Better care president Brian Lee.

Adequate staffing is the most effective way to assure that nursing home residents are not neglected or abused. Individuals, who are prone to abuse, look at lack of staff as an opportunity to take advantage of a vulnerable adult.

Inadequate staffing is the primary cause of neglect since nursing home workers are often overworked and are unable to give individual care. In a study cited by the National Council for Elder Abuse, close to 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to neglecting a patient at least once in the past thirty days.

Although neglect is not always a willful act it can cause serious harm to a nursing home resident and serious neglect can result in injuries, chronic illnesses and, in the worst case, death. When an individual suspects their loved one is being abuse of neglect, they should notify authorities and then contact a Colorado nursing home attorney to see it a civil suit is warranted.