Senate Approves More Nursing Home Beds

Senate Approves More Nursing Home Beds

Lawmakers agreed to release $10.5 million in bond funds to expand facilities in Western Kentucky and hopefully ease the nursing home neglect crisis in and around Bowling Green.

The Kentucky House of Representatives has already passed a similar measure, and according to Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green), one of the Senate co-sponsors, Governor Matt Bevin will probably sign the House version. During floor debate, Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) noted that there were 800 nursing home beds per veteran in Eastern Kentucky, but only 400 beds per veteran in Western Kentucky. Some Democrats wanted to conduct a feasibility study because there is already a large veterans nursing home in Huntington, West Virginia, but they later withdrew their request.

Previously, the federal government agreed to contribute $19.5 million to the project.

Overcrowded Nursing Homes and Abuse Potential

Many times, these conditions start a chain reaction that ends in resident-on-resident abuse, which is one of the fastest-growing types of nursing home neglect.

Many public nursing homes accept as many patients as possible to optimize their facilities, and many private nursing homes do the same thing to maximize their profits. As a result, some residents who once had their own rooms only have a corner of a room to call their own, residents who had their own tables at lunch must share their tables with others, someone else gets the favored spot in front of the TV, and so on. These disputes may seem petty, but many older nursing home residents have dementia, and so they have child-like personalities.

These small arguments often lead to abusive situations, such as being run over by a wheelchair, taking food from another person’s tray, name-calling, and other forms of nursing home neglect. Physical violence is not unusual either.

Crowded nursing homes are also fertile environments for staff-on-resident abuse, including:

  • Isolation: If there is not enough staff to supervise the residents, and this deficiency is common in overcrowded facilities, staff members sometimes leave residents alone in their rooms for extended periods of time
  • Slow Responses: When inter-resident quarrels break out, there is often no one to separate the two belligerents, especially on weekends and during other non-peak times.
  • Angry Outbursts: In their haste to move a resident from one place to another, some staff members use too much physical force, causing serious injury.

As a landowner, the nursing home owner has a duty to prevent unintentional injuries by keeping the floors dry, ensuring that hallways are well-lit, and so on. This responsibility also extends to intentional torts, like assualts and batteries, even if these torts are inflicted by third parties not under the owner’s control (e.g. other nursing home residents).

Nursing home neglect often starts in unexpected places. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Mumfordville, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. After-hours appointments are available.