Nursing home catering to Latinos deemed unsafe

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Mar 05, 2012 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

Many factors go into the decision-making process when choosing a nursing home or long-term care facility. Obvious ones include cleanliness, proximity to loved ones and the overall health and safety record of a facility. A less obvious, yet growing factor for many, is also the cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness of a facility. It's crucial, however, that families take the time to find a good balance between a facility that is a good fit culturally and still safe.

One nursing home that caters to Latino clientele has recently come under scrutiny for rampant complaints related to nursing home negligence including unsanitary and unsafe conditions and staffing and supply shortages. The facility currently has a rating by Medicare's Nursing Home Compare of one out of five, which is considered "quality much below average".

Many family members who have loved ones at the nursing home have complained about the facility's failure to stock enough basic supplies like adult diapers and soap. One daughter, whose mother was previously alert and able to walk with the assistance of a walker, recently visited the facility and found her mother incoherent and slumped over in a wheelchair. The daughter insisted her mother be taken to a hospital for further evaluation where it was determined she had a severe urinary tract infection. The infection worsened and spread and the woman died of a pulmonary embolism.

The daughter is currently awaiting autopsy results to establish if the infection played a role in her mother's death. If so, the nursing home will likely face charges related to neglect and negligence.

As the cultural landscape of states like West Virginia continues to grow more diverse, there will be increased demand for nursing homes that cater to specific cultural groups. Families seeking culturally-centered nursing facilities must not, however, allow their desire for a nursing home that caters to their specific language and cultural heritage outweigh serious safety concerns.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Staff, family say Latino nursing home unsafe," Deborah L. Shelton and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Mar. 1, 2012

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