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Top 6 red flags of nursing home abuse and neglect

If your mother lives in a Mississippi nursing home, naturally you expect the nursing home staff to give her the care she needs and deserves. Unfortunately, however, some nursing homes fall far short of their duty of care to their residents.

When you visit your mother, keep an eye out for the following top six signs that the nursing home is abusing and/or neglecting her.

CMS to use data analytics to protect nursing home residents

The federal government is going to start keeping a closer eye on nursing homes in Mississippi and other states, according to a recent announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The action is designed to reduce incidents of nursing home neglect and abuse nationwide.

The administrator for CMS says that the agency is beginning to use new technologies and innovative strategies to improve the safety of nursing homes. One of those technologies is data analytics, which can synthesize information collected from various sources and identify possible problems and solutions. For example, a review of data from Medicare claims, artificial intelligence and text mining could help CMS provide better nursing home oversight. In addition, data analysis could help the agency identify and remove nursing home employees who have abused residents in the past.

NSC survey: first responders put at risk by distracted drivers

A survey conducted by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute and the National Safety Council confirms the fact that drivers, in Mississippi and across the U.S., become more distracted when passing emergency vehicles. A startling 71 percent said they take pictures or videos when passing first responders; 66 percent send an email and 60 percent post on social media about it. Eighty percent slow down to get a better look.

This was regardless of whether the emergency vehicle had slowed to make a traffic stop or to respond to a crash or fire. Thirty-three percent of respondents were not aware of "Move Over" laws although 73 percent did say that they move over to give room to emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road with their lights on. Twenty-four percent did not know of any legal requirements for passing emergency vehicles.

CVSA plans Level I inspections for 72-hour truck safety blitz

During the 72-hour International Roadcheck inspection blitz scheduled for June 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will perform Level I inspections on commercial trucks and buses. The alliance uses events like this to educate truckers in Mississippi and nationwide about safety issues important to the transport industry.

Level I inspections involve a thorough evaluation of vehicles and drivers. Truck drivers must produce their CDLs, logs and Medical Examiner's Certificates. Vehicles will undergo a complete check of brakes, lights, tires, cargo restraints, steering and suspension. Although all systems are important for safe truck operation, the president chief of CVSA said that the organization will emphasize inspections of steering and suspension this year. Both systems require regular maintenance so that trucks can remain stable while hauling heavy loads. Steering also influences tire alignment, and problems could cause uneven tire wear that leads to tire failures.

4 nursing-home patients who may have a higher risk of bedsores

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you want to be sure he or she receives the best possible care. You also want to trust healthcare providers to watch for bedsores, a common injury for those living in long-term care facilities. 

Also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, bedsores are a problem in Mississippi nursing homes. Often, they are an indicator of ongoing nursing-home neglect or abuse. Not all patients, though, have the same propensity for developing bedsores. Here are four types of nursing-home patients who have an increased risk.

Congress investigates solutions for nursing home abuse

In Mississippi and other parts of the United States, nursing home neglect is a common occurrence. Two women recently reported instances of abuse toward their elderly mothers. After reading their report, the United States Senate Committee on Finance decided to hold an official hearing about nursing home neglect. Legislators were angered over the reports about nursing home abuse occurring in facilities across the country. Many of these situations could have been prevented.

One woman told officials about her dehydrated mother who was in constant pain. She said that her mother had probably been experiencing nursing home abuse for a long time. Nursing home residents are defenseless when faced with instances involving physical abuse or neglect. Many nursing homes exist under dangerous and unsanitary conditions; nursing homes are often filled with caregivers who demonstrate no compassion for elderly individuals. One woman's frail mother was immobile and had experienced dementia for several years. The daughter received a phone call informing her that her elderly mother had been molested by a caregiver.

How to document suspected nursing home abuse

Nursing homes and elder care facilities play an important role in society. After all, the staff at these places steps in to meet the needs of elderly patients. Regardless of how much research you do when choosing a nursing home for your aging mother or father, though, you may not be able to avoid some level of nursing home abuse. 

Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and elder abuse are not uncommon. In fact, roughly 10 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some type of elder abuse. Even worse, most cases go unreported. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you must watch carefully for signs of nursing home abuse. You must also diligently document your findings. 

Nursing home fines down under Trump administration

Under the Trump administration, nursing homes in Mississippi and across the U.S. receive lower fines for committing violations that endanger or injure residents than they did under the Obama administration. The fine reduction is the result of the Trump administration bending to nursing home industry pressure to change the way fines are assessed.

According to federal records, the average nursing home fine is $28,405 under the Trump administration. In comparison, the average fine for nursing homes was $41,260 in 2016, which was the last year of the Obama administration. The reason for the decrease is because nursing homes are now issued a single fine for around two-thirds of all infractions. However, under the Obama administration, nursing homes were slapped with a fine for each day they were in violation of a regulation. The fines were designed to crack down on health services violations and encourage compliance. Now that the fine structure has been changed, health care experts fear that nursing homes will have less incentive to ensure that residents receive quality care and are kept safe.

Daylight saving time can increase drowsiness in drivers

Losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time can have serious consequences for drivers in Mississippi and across the US. First of all, it is recommended that all drives sleep for at least seven hours each night. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety claims that missing even one or two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period can nearly double an individual's risk for getting in a car crash.

The National Sleep Foundation has reported frequently on how poor sleep affects health and has said that drivers are "unfit to operate a motor vehicle" if they get less than two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. AAA goes further, however, saying that sleeping for even five hours within the same period will make drivers' crash risk comparable to that of drunk drivers. Their level of impairment will also be similar to those of a drunk driver.

Truck safety advocates push for speed limiters, automatic braking

Federal studies have shown that speed limiters and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems significantly reduce large truck accidents in Mississippi and around the country. Despite this, Congress has failed to pass legislation requiring the use of the technologies. As a result, truck safety advocates are pushing President Donald Trump to step in and get the job done.

Several truck safety groups have been trying to get laws requiring the use of speed limiters and AEB systems passed since 2006. However, since that time, the organizations have become increasingly frustrated as both Democratic and Republican administrations have failed to move such legislation forward. The lack of action comes despite a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showing that speed limiters can significantly decrease the chances of a truck accident. Meanwhile, other studies show that around 2,500 truck accidents could be prevented by AEB systems every year.

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