Often overshadowed by accident and sudden injury cases, though no less important, is the issue of nursing home negligence. There are only a few personal injury attorneys in Kentucky who handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases but recent information from institutions like the Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform shows this state has serious problems when it comes to elderly care.
A December 2nd Lexington Herald-Leader article reports on a Richmond, Kentucky nursing home that currently ranks as the second worst in the nation. Madison Manor was the center of controversy in September 2008 after the family of the late Armeda Thomas hid a video camera in her room to find out why she had dozens of bruises. The tape showed nursing assistants physically abusing and taunting Thomas and failing to feed and clean her. Nurses' aides Jaclyn Dawn VanWinkle, Amanda G. Sallee and Valerie Lamb were indicted and charged with abuse.
Last month, a similar Herald-Leader article reported that 10 Kentucky nursing homes were among the nation’s worst. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), only 15 states had more poorly performing nursing homes than Kentucky. Madison Manor is unfortunately not the only under performing nursing home in the state and falls in line with hundreds of other facilities around the country.
Earlier this year we revealed the 40 Kentucky nursing homes that were determined by Medicare to need “Significant Improvement.” Here are a few tips from MSNBC to keep in mind when choosing a nursing home:
- Don't depend only on the federal Web site.
- Get the names of local facilities.
- Contact your local ombudsman (a state government official employed to investigate nursing home complaints)
- Consult third-party reports to winnow out bad facilities.
- Check the home's ownership.
- Visit the homes incognito.
- Read each home's state inspection survey.
- Visit the homes again.
- Ask about top-level turnover.
ps. Don’t forget to Download our free publication “Nursing Homes: What You Absolutely Positively Must Know Before Choosing One.”