Resident Complaints About Conditions at Senior Living Facilities Surging to New Highs
Far too many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the U.S. have a long and problematic history with serious care issues. Unfortunately, it is the residents who suffer.
In 2022 alone, the Department of Health Services (DHS) in Wisconsin had 2,284 complaints. However, the complaints are not just increasing in numbers, they are also increasing in severity.
According to Melanie Cairns, who is an attorney at Disability Rights Wisconsin, many of these complaints are serious and include neglect, resident abuse and rights violations.
The biggest contributing factor in most of these complaints is the direct result of serious staffing issues, such as:
- Consistent staffing shortages
- Inadequately trained staff administering medications
- Increasing delays with daily tasks and basic care needs, like showering, assistance with meals, toileting, laundry and other housekeeping needs
In addition to the obvious issues caused by staffing shortages, there are secondary issues as well, such as medication errors or residents falling while trying to get themselves to the toilet.
Apple Creek Place in Appleton, Wisconsin
According to a news article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one senior living facility, Apple Creek Place, became the focus of a DHS inspection last November. This investigation revealed 18 deficiencies, including:
- Three caregivers who were administering medication to residents without having first received proper training
- Two other caregivers who had not been trained to handle issues, such as suicide prevention or residents who regularly wandered out of the building or off the property.
- An inadequate number staff to resident ratio to properly manage care for the 22-bed facility
Shelley Peel, a resident who has been living at the facility for the past nine months, says caregivers are scheduled to assist her with showering every Monday and Thursday. However, she says getting that help even once a week is unusual.
Apple Place, which has been under Cornerstone Management since last December paints a different picture of its care options. This facility is advertised as having care options that are tailored to help individuals who are physically disabled, as well as those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
A spokesperson for Cornerstone, Rebecca Rutgers, says that since taking over the operations of Apple Creek Place, they have filled all vacant positions.
Although Cornerstone took over Apple Place just a couple of months after Peel arrived, she says she has not seen a difference. In addition to her daily care needs not being met, the most basic housekeeping tasks are also not getting done. Even when she calls for help, Peel says she typically must wait between 30 to 45 minutes before she gets any assistance.
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect? Call Our Law Offices for Legal Help
At PKSD, we have been helping injured residents and their families recover compensation for damages caused by nursing home abuse and neglect. Our legal team is deeply committed to holding at-fault parties accountable for actions that cause harm to others.
It can be hard to know if you have a valid case, but we offer a free initial consultation to help determine your legal options. Call our law offices 24/7. There are no upfront costs if you choose our firm to represent you. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Wisconsin have extensive experience, and we are prepared to help.
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