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Nursing Home Report Card Gives Tennessee A Barely Passing Grade

It has been frequently stated that a society should be measured by the quality of care it gives to its youngest, sickest, and oldest citizens. According to a recent Nursing Home Report Card from Families for Better Care, Tennessee was given a D in overall nursing home care. Tennessee Nursing homes ranked 47th in staffing. This is a disturbing ranking, given nursing home abuse or neglect frequently occurs when facilities lack proper staffing. If you or a loved one have been the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect due to improper staffing, you are encouraged to contact a local personal injury attorney with experience handling nursing home abuse or neglect cases.

The Nursing Home Report Card does a state-by-state analytical comparison ranking the quality of nursing home care. The purpose of the report card is to laud those states providing quality nursing home care while pointing out states with poor quality to encourage additional accountability. Families for Better Care states, “Tennessee is among the poorest staffed nursing homes states in America as the state overwhelmingly failed every staffing measure.” For the region, Tennessee ranked second to last in what the report characterized as the woeful Southeast Region.

Sadly, there are many people in Tennessee that are unaware of these statistics, and most people only find out when it hits close to the family.

A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.

—Mahatma Ghandi

There are many ways a nursing home can be liable for neglect or abuse. Under the Tennessee Protection Act, it can be a Misdemeanor or Felony for abusing or neglecting a senior in a nursing home. Even those who know of abuse but fail to report it may face legal charges. Last year, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested 5 individuals for nursing home abuse. While criminal action is meant to remedy violations of public laws, a civil action will need to be brought in order to compensate damages to an elderly person or their family.

A nursing home will be found liable for abuse or neglect if an injured party can prove that 1) the nursing home’s owner or employees breached a standard duty of care, 2) the elderly person’s injury was caused by this breach, and 3) the conduct of the nursing home’s owner or employee caused the injury. In order to prove the standard of care, a nursing home abuse attorney can provide expert testimony outlining the standard procedures that a nursing home must follow. Furthermore, Tennessee has several regulations outlining the minimum standards of care and licensing requirements. The Tennessee Health Care Association produces a guide outlining the minimum standards of care; and also, Tennessee Department of Health outlines the standard of care required for licensing.

When an elderly person or their family make the hard decision to enter the care of a nursing home, they should be able to trust that they will receive proper care. Nursing home abuse can cause physical, emotional, and financial difficulties. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can the gather evidence and review all the elements of your case to determine if the standard of care has been breached.

If you have or a loved one have been the victims of nursing home abuse, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. at (865) 524-5657.

Additional Resources:
Guide To Long-term Care In Tennessee, Jan. 1, 2011, Tennessee Health Care Association publication

Standards For Nursing Homes, Nov. 1, 2012, Rules Of Tennessee Department Of health

More Blog Entries:
Reports of Nursing Home Abuse in Tennessee Shut Down Facility, Jan. 24, 2012, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog

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