As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, inspections of Kentucky’s nursing homes have shown that many of the Bluegrass State’s facilities are understaffed and residents are neglected. At Kentucky ElderLaw, PLLC we understand how disturbing it might be to learn that a loved one is receiving inadequate or negligent care while at a healthcare facility.

While visiting relatives in a nursing home, there are some things to look for that may help you to recognize negligence or abuse. The Herald-Leader’s reporters noted, for example, that many of the facilities had residents with untreated infections and bedsores. Other patients were found to have been left in bed with their own excrement, had suffered serious falls or had been given incorrect medications. Any of these situations may cause direct and serious harm to residents who may be too vulnerable to defend themselves. In some cases, they might be unable to communicate painful symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rated nursing homes in Kentucky as “below average” or “much below average” compared to other facilities across the nation. While state inspectors may only be able to uncover a limited number of residents who are receiving low-quality care, taking an active approach in your family’s elder-care planning may help. The sooner that negligence or abuse is discovered, the quicker it may be remedied by filing a complaint with the facility or with state or federal regulators. In some cases, filing a legal complaint might be a necessary step in order to prevent further abuse. You may also seek to recover financial relief for harm or damages suffered by a facility’s mistreated resident.

Our page on life care planning provides more information on how you may take steps to help ensure you or a loved one receives high-quality long-life care.