Background Checks Protect Vulnerable Family Members From Nursing Home Abuse
There is nothing more heart-wrenching than having a loved one victimized by someone who you thought you knew.
Believe me, because I’ve experienced it.
The sad thing is that I’m not alone.
Day in and day out, you’ll hear stories popping up on the news about people who have cheap health insurance ending up in a nursing home that shuts down or that nursing home being investigated for the abuse of the vulnerable adults they are caring for.
It is a well-known fact that there is a shortage of qualified workers to fill caretaker positions in nursing homes throughout the country. Not as well known is the fact that with the shortage of qualified workers, nursing homes have become less discriminating in who they hire – and most nursing homes have never been especially diligent in performing background checks on prospective employees in the first place.
According to a 2007 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services study of over 16000 nursing homes, too many nursing homes have outdated hiring practices, relying on references that don’t exist and resumes that lie.
Among for-profit nursing homes, 94% were cited for health and safety standard violations in 2008. The majority of nursing homes, over two-thirds, are owned by for-profit companies.
17% of nursing homes studied had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients.
Problems include infected bedsores, medication errors, poor food, and abuse and neglect of patients. About 20 percent of the more than 37,000 complaints inspectors received in 2008 concerned the abuse or neglect of patients.
As a result of worker shortages, people who would otherwise be turned away at the doors often slip through the cracks and find themselves in a caretaking position where they have little oversight.
As someone who has a parent who is in a nursing home, this is unacceptable to me, and – if you’re in the same boat that I’m in – it should be unacceptable to you.
But if you do have a parent or other loved one who is in an assisted-living environment, you can take steps to ensure that the people with access to your loved one have been investigated and check out as someone who doesn’t have a questionable history.
Meet with your assisted-living provider and ask for the names of the staff who will have access to your loved one. Meet with those people and talk with them for a bit. If you have any questions about training or history, don’t hesitate to ask the staff – and don’t take no for an answer. An honest caretaker and a nursing home that takes the safety of their patients seriously will be happy to provide you with the information you’re looking for.
Once you have the names of the individuals who will regularly have access to your loved one, you can use an online background check service such as NetDetective to check into the backgrounds of the nursing home staff.
By using NetDetective, you’ll be able to see all sorts of information on the person you’re running a background check on, such as:
- Criminal records
- Prison records
- FBI file information
- Criminal charges
- Sex offender status and history
NetDetective is currently offering a special rate to new subscribers – three years of access to their databases for only $29. There are no hidden fees or surprise charges – just solid information and over 3.1 billion records.
Used worldwide by detectives, private investigators and just plain everyday ordinary people who want to look a little deeper into the histories of people they know, NetDetective is an essential tool that you can use to help keep your loved ones safe.