It can be a very nerve-racking experience to put a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility, particularly knowing of so many horror stories about how residents and patients are treated by staffers at facilities around the country. This is why due diligence of these facilities ahead of time is so vital and can make all the difference. In performing such due diligence, though, we rely on third party consumer groups that investigate and rate homes, but also rely heavily on our own government, both state and federal.
As many know, the Illinois Department of Public Health has a vital role in watching over our state’s nursing homes and facilities. In general state and federal health and/or aging departments and agencies take a tremendous role in implementing and enforcing key rules and regulations as to how nursing homes can operate and the quality of care expected from the workers in those facilities. Government health agencies are responsible for conducting regular audits and inspections, hearing complaints and responding to them with further inspections, and sanctioning homes that do not meet certain standards or that are found to allow for abuse and neglect to persist against their patients. It is scary to think about, but what happens when our government fails at that very job? Unfortunately, according to recent reports, California has failed a recent test as to its regulators’ responsibilities to investigate and address allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect.