New York nursing home abuse not always investigated

Despite the fact that there are more nursing home residents in New York than any other state in the U.S., it is investigating fewer complaints of abuse than other states are.

Since nursing home abuse is a critical issue in states throughout the country, it is important for family members, as well as watchdog programs, to keep an eye on what is happening. Many critics believe that the number of complaints in New York has declined due to the fact that the state is not putting enough resources into its nursing home watchdog program.

When you compare New York to California, for example, it is easy to see that this could be a problem. In 2012, California provided its program with $3.2 million in state funding. This is approximately 15 times more than New York. This is true despite the fact that New York has more nursing home residents.

Every state has a long term care ombudsman program, as this is required by the Older Americans Act. Funding, however, comes from both federal and state dollars. According to the Long Term Care Community Coalition, between the years of 2007 and 2012, the number of complaints taken on by the New York ombudsman program dropped by more than 80 percent.

Many people overlook the fact that nursing home abuse complaints should be taken seriously, because they do not have a loved one living in such a facility. Without the proper oversight of a watchdog program, the number of nursing home abuse cases throughout the state could continue to be alarming into the future.

Source: Syracuse.com, “New York’s nursing home watchdog group should investigate more cases of poor care, critics charge” James T. Mulder, May. 18, 2014