North Carolina Nursing Home Neglect: Budget Cuts and Disaster Readiness

Nursing homes in North Carolina are counted upon to help our elderly loved ones in their time of need. They’re here to provide them with love, care and safety. However, budget cuts may impact everything from nursing care to disaster preparedness.

According to government investigators and a recent study, most nursing homes are woefully unprepared for a natural disaster, whether a tornado, flood or hurricane. Our Carolina nursing home neglect attorneys have seen the devastation caused to nursing home communities in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to residents and the families of residents and one of the most important responsibilities is safety.
After a recent study, researchers discovered that nursing homes in the area lacked the steps to help keep residents stay safe in the event of an evacuation, including correspondence with local authorities, ways to get in touch with relatives and effective systems to get medications on board and distributed correctly, according to FOX NEWS.

Our Greensboro nursing home neglect lawyers understand that families put their loved ones in nursing homes with the expectations that they’ll be properly cared for. We assume that facilities can handle a natural disaster and can care for residents during these times. The recent report shows we may be wrong. As a matter of fact, the plans of these homes may not even be worth the paper they’re written on.

Some are not surprised with the lack of planning among nursing homes in our areas, considering the recent Medicare funding reductions. The state of North Carolina recent lost nearly $23 million in funding, which constitutes as the fifth largest cut nationally.

“North Carolina, like many states, has a very fragile Medicaid system with numerous budgetary challenges,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC).

Rosenbloom says it’s not going to get better anytime soon either. He says that Medicare reductions are expected to hit nearly $50 billion by the fiscal year 2021.

This is alarming considering the recent natural disasters that we’ve had to react to.

“We identified many of the same gaps in nursing home preparedness and response,” said investigators with the Health and Human Services Department.

The study concluded that nursing homes’ emergency plans failed to provide relevant information regarding safety procedures, procedures that could potentially save your loved one’s life.

Nationwide, nearly 5 million people spent some time in a nursing home in 2009. About 40 percent of these individuals were in the top 10 disaster-prone states. Statistics reveal that the average nursing home resident is a female in her 80s or older and deals with both mental and physical limitations. These residents are completely dependent on the help of other for everyday activities.

Lee Law Offices P.A. is a dedicated team of personal injury attorneys in Greensboro and the surrounding areas who are experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We represent victims in both North and South Carolina. If you or a loved one has been injured, call 1-800-887-1965 to schedule a free appointment to discuss your rights with an attorney today.

More Blog Entries:

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse A Problem, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2012

Researching North Carolina Nursing Homes Can Protect Elders from Abuse and Neglect in Asheville, Elsewhere, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, December 13, 2011

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