Residents receiving care in for-profit nursing homes are almost twice as likely to experience health issues caused by substandard care compared with clients living in not-for-profit facilities or in homes in the community, according to a new report in the journal Gerontology.
The researchers, led by Lee Friedman, associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, also found that community-dwelling adults 60 years old and older who need assistance with tasks related to daily living but do not live in a nursing home had the fewest number of clinical signs of neglect compared with those living in any type of nursing facility.
“We saw more — and more serious — diagnoses among residents of for-profit facilities that were consistent with severe clinical signs of neglect, including severe dehydration in clients with feeding tubes which should have been managed, clients with stage 3 and 4 bed sores, broken catheters and feeding tubes, and clients whose medication for chronic conditions was not being managed properly,” Friedman said.
Previous studies have demonstrated that clinically diagnosed signs of neglect are more prevalent among residents of for-profit nursing homes compared with not-for-profit facilities, but these studies have focused on individual clinical signs, such as bed sores or injuries. Because these clinical signs rarely occur in isolation, these past studies likely underestimated the population of residents experiencing serious adverse health effects due to neglect.