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For-profit nursing homes more likely to be neglectful

Families in Mississippi may be concerned about the standard of care their elderly parents and other loved ones are receiving in nursing homes. Reports of nursing home neglect and abuse can send chills up the spines of even the most dedicated family members who have thoroughly researched their elderly relatives' care providers. According to one study, residents in for-profit nursing homes are almost twice as likely to have health problems as a result of negligent or substandard care than those living in nonprofit facilities or community homes.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that the best health outcomes were found among adults aged 60 and older who lived in the community. They may need assistance with daily living tasks but continue to live in a community home rather than in an institutional nursing facility. However, the most serious signs of nursing home neglect were found among residents of for-profit nursing institutions. In some cases, researchers found severe dehydration in people with feeding tubes, people with severe bed sores and others with broken catheters or feeding tubes.

The research correlates with prior studies that also found more frequent signs of neglect among residents of for-profit nursing homes. However, this study also showed that serious, long-term health effects were linked to their neglectful treatment. Analyzing hospital records, researchers studied the cases of elders admitted to the hospital between 2007 and 2011 for illnesses linked to substandard care. The scientists noted that for-profit nursing homes underpay front-line care workers, leading to frequent staff turnover and low morale.

Nursing homes have a duty of care to their vulnerable patients, but elders in care facilities continue to suffer from nursing home abuse. People being neglected in nursing homes and their families can work with attorneys to pursue compensation for their damages, including current and future medical bills.

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