There are an estimated 15,700 nursing homes in the United States. Most do a great job of caring for our disabled and older family members. There is no reason for anyone in this great country to receive inadequate care. We are entitled to dignity, even when we can no longer care for ourselves. Yet a few nursing homes take advantage of those most vulnerable.
Medicare provides a free online rating system for nursing homes. From excellent to “much below average”, every facility is rated.
Recently we “named names” of some of the worst nursing homes in Kentucky. Every state has at least one nursing home with poor ratings, however. In this post, we look at the states that have the worst nursing homes. The list of shame includes:
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
Worse, the organization Families for Better Care, says that North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Arkansas continue to quickly decline. In other words, the “worst are getting worse”! That is horrible news for nursing home residents in these states and their families too.
Things are so bad in Illinois that a recent study showed that approximately 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents suffer from sepsis each year. One in five won’t survive.
Sepsis is an infection in the bloodstream. It is very difficult to treat, especially for those in nursing homes because they are often elderly, have compromised immune systems or both.
Sepsis often occurs when patients suffer from bed sores or untreated urinary infections. (Medicare specifically tracks the percentage of both these indicators, most of the nursing homes on the government’s watch list have a much higher rate of late stage pressure sores and urinary tract infections. Illinois ranked near the bottom of states for bedsores at 47th place.)
Usually higher rates of sepsis can be directly traced to poor staffing levels. In fact, some states don’t even have minimum staffing levels.
So, who are the worst nursing homes? According to U.S. News and World Report, in 2018 they were:
- Woodley Manor Health Rehabilitation Montgomery, AL
- Parkview Rehabilitation Healthcare Center Little Rock, AR
- Infinia At Show Low Show Low, AZ
- Plaza Healthcare Scottsdale, AZ
- Golden Cross Health Care ff Fresno Fresno, CA
- Santa Cruz Skilled Nursing Center Santa Cruz, CA
- Malley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Northglenn, CO
- Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Miami, FL
- Blue Ridge Healthcare Windwood Montgomery, AL
- Barnes Healthcare Lonoke, AR
- Ridgecrest Healthcare Phoenix, AZ
- Providence Mt Rubidoux Riverside, CA
- San Fernando Post Acute Hospital Sylmar, CA
- Avante At Orlando Inc Orlando, FL
- Consulate Health Care of Melbourne Melbourne, FL
- Chulio Hills Health and Rehab Rome, GA
- Pleasant View Nursing Center Metta, GA
- Aperion Care Bloomington Bloomington, IL
- Aperion Care Jacksonville Jacksonville, IL
- Helia Healthcare of Champaign Champaign, IL
- Worcester Health Center Worcester, AR
- Ballenger Creek Center Frederick, MD
- Orono Commons Orono, ME
- Chalet of Niles Niles, MI
- Red Wing Health Center Red Wing, MN
- Crest Nursing Home Butte, MT
- Lake Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Indian Train, NC
- Trinity Homes Minot, MD
- Cooper River West Pennsauken, NJ
- Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center t Otsego Cooperstown, NY
- Medford Multicare Center for Living Medford, NY
- Continuing Healthcare of Gahanna Gahanna, OH
- Eastland Health Care and Rehabilitation Center Columbus, OH
- Ambassador Manor Nursing Center Tulsa, OK
- Purcell Care Center Purcell, OK
- Pembrooke Health nd Rehabilitation Center West Chester, PA
- Riverside Health and Rehab Charleston, SC
- Regional Health Care Center Custer, SD
- Brookhaven Manor Kingsport, TN
- Lauderdale Community Living Center Ripley, TN
- Benbrook Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Benbrook, TX
- The Lennwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Dallas, TX
- Willow Wood Care Center Salt Lake City, UT
What Is the Cause of Nursing Home Neglect?
The primary cause of nursing home neglect is poor staffing. A facility that does not have adequate and well trained staff is a recipe for disaster. Closely related to inadequate staffing are poor pay and negligent hiring.
You get what you pay for and if you refuse to pay living wages you get often get poor quality workers. It’s that simple. By not investing in staff, bad nursing homes wind up with poorly trained staff, folks with dangerous backgrounds and bad morale. Better pay and better training, conversely, leads to better morale.
Without adequate staffing and quality training, residents often suffer dangerous falls, lay in their own waste for hours, have untreated bedsores and infections, aren’t fed properly and don’t always get their medicines.
Damage Caps Contribute to Nursing Home Neglect
Some of the states with the worst nursing homes also have caps on lawsuit recoveries. It’s no coincidence that most of the states on the above list also cap damages. Examples are Louisiana, Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Carolina.
Nursing home neglect cases are complex and expensive. The costs for experts and depositions often exceeds $100,000. Lawyers are reluctant to take cases – even great cases – knowing that damages are capped.
Nursing homes rarely voluntarily admit to neglect. Even getting records is a hassle. In states with limited damages, nursing homes know that good lawyers will often not take a case, unless it is a “slam dunk.” That means family members often never get the answers they deserve and the justice to which they are entitled.
Nursing home and big insurance company lobbyists say that caps on damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering and negligence are needed to prevent frivolous lawsuits. The only thing these caps prevent, however, are real lawsuits over serious malpractice. Because of caps, bad nursing homes can continue neglecting their residents.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
For family members, the best prevention means frequent visits and vigilance. Even before the new resident moves in, we urge folks to use Medicare’s nursing home compare site to better know about the facility being considered.
If you have a friend or loved one in a skilled nursing facility, this is what you should look for:
- Bedsores (often called pressure sores)
- Evidence of falls
- Urinary tract infections
- Dirty linens or soiled undergarments
- Emotional withdrawal (especially when caregivers are present)
- Unexplained diseases or infections
- Sudden financial difficulties (evidence of elder financial abuse)
- Change in power of attorney
- Desertion (being left alone in a public place or doctor’s office)
Realize that many nursing home patients are embarrassed or ashamed to report abuse or neglect. Because they are dependent on caregivers, many are also afraid to come forward. That means family, friends and visiting clergy need to be extra vigilant.
Was Your Loved One Injured or Neglect in a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to keep their residents safe and deliver proper care. Violating state and federal regulations, negligence, intentional acts and failures to act can make the nursing home, its management and staff responsible for injuries suffered by patients.
If you think believe a loved one has needlessly suffered, we can help. Nursing home abuse cases are difficult to prosecute. They are also expensive. Many nursing homes are run by large corporations that have the financial ability outspend or outmaneuver inexperienced or underfunded lawyers. The best way to achieve justice and receive proper compensation is to retain an experienced lawyer.
Our team and national network of nursing home abuse lawyers have handled cases across the United States. In most cases we either directly handle or co-counsel with local lawyers. (Only in rare situations do we refer out the case. If we believe we cannot assist you, however, we will try to find someone who can.)
We understand the laws and have directly handled cases in 40 states.
As noted above, nursing home cases are complex. There are many overlapping rules and laws that impact on nursing homes. These laws include:
- State nursing home staffing rules and regulations
- State “tort reform” laws (laws that cap damages in nursing home cases)
- State procedural rules (some states require claims be filed within one year)
- Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA)
- The Older Americans Act (OAA)
- Mandatory reporting laws (laws that require caregivers to report abuse)
- Medicare rules
- The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- State Adult Protective Services (APS)
To learn more, visit our nursing home abuse and neglect information page. We also recommend downloading our free guide on How to Sue a Nursing Home for Abuse.
Ready to see if you have a case? We offer a free, no obligation review of your case. Our consultations are also completely confidential. Finally, if we take your case it will be handled on a contingent (“success”) fee basis meaning we only get paid if you get paid.
We can be contacted online, by email [hidden email] or by telephone at 833.201.1555.
Mahany Law – America’s Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers