Top 10 Wish List for Nursing Homes In New York State

Here is our Top 10 Wish List for Nursing Homes in 2022. 

With the advocacy of consumer groups, legislatures willing to stand-up to special interest groups, and with your vigilance we can make it happen.

We can all make nursing homes and long-term care facilities safer and more secure for our loved ones, the residents.  A wish list, yes; but we can all have influence on behalf of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.  Let your legislators hear you.

We respectfully submit our list:

10. Staffing

It’s all about the numbers.  It always has been, and it always will be about staffing.  Study after study confirms that nursing homes are routinely understaffed, and staff are usually overworked and underpaid.

9. Ban Mandatory Arbitration (Forced, Arbitrary, Skewed)

Arbitration has gained significant momentum over the last several years.  What it does is deprive those injured and their families the right to sue in a Court of Law.  Corporations push these agreements because the results are usually and significantly in their favor.

Forced, arbitrary, and skewed

Embedded in everything from credit cards and cell phone contracts to nursing home care and employment contracts, corporations routinely hide these mandatory clauses.  Most people do not appreciate the potential for harm and abuse these clauses cause.  Cases are decided by private arbitrators who are corporate generally insiders who routinely and regularly side with the corporate behemoth.  The right to contest an adverse finding is nearly impossible.  These agreements do almost nothing to protect future residents from harm, abuse, and neglect.

8. Ban Venue Selection Clauses

A venue selection clause is usually embedded in a facilities admission agreement.  What it means is that in the event of a dispute you must have your case decided in the location decided by the facility.  This is problematic when the family is in an area that may be quite a distance from the facility, and which is picked by the facility because it is favorable to their monetary interests.

7. Meaningful Oversight

Meaningful oversight helps provide accountability for abuses, harm, and neglect.

It’s hard to fathom, but New York State ranks last in the country in citing Nursing Homes for substandard care and neglect.  In a recent report[1], the Long-Term Care Community Coalition (a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving quality of care, quality of life, and dignity for elderly and disabled people in nursing homes, assisted living, and other residential settings) found that New York has failed in its oversight requirements to ensure that its residents are safe and treated with dignity. This causes unnecessary and preventable harm in all aspects of a person’s residency, including, drugging, infections, falls, and bedsores.  To illustrate this point, New York nursing homes were only cited the equivalent of 0.4% of the time that a resident has a pressure ulcer (ranked 44th).

6. Better Food

Imagine being forced to eat substandard food every day?  We can’t.  Those who have worked in nursing home kitchens understand that all too often facilities do not provide good and healthy food to their residents.

We found these two posts on a Facebook Group:

I cooked in a nursing home and the answer is money. The dietitian makes the menu and one cook makes food for 70 people on 5 different diets and specials for people who won’t eat ingredients like pork, tomato or melted cheese. So I would come in and wash lunch dishes and make dinner alone using ingredients that were basic like ground pork or canned tuna. Everything takes a lot of time cracking dozens of eggs and heating the grill, chopping onions and you run to get it all done. Once in the oven you make pudding, and make the food for those that don’t eat what you cooked, ulcers, diabetic, low sodium, liquid diets. A 13 year old girl came after school and helped put food on trays and dished up deserts, stocked the pantry and washed dinner dishes. There was only me cooking so getting food out at exactly 5PM was a challenge, you couldn’t be late, or early because they had two shifts of nurses to feed people then. To serve better food they would need time to do things like prepare a veggie that wasn’t salad or canned, there was no time to make sauces or make trays attractive. You want asparagus with hollandaise sauce you better have family bring it, the company doesn’t buy expensive food and it takes too long to prepare. Fried smelt won’t happen either steak or lobster.

The answer is ( drum roll) Money.  Nursing homes operate on a low profit margin. One way to keep costs down is to meet the bare minimums for nutrition. That’s why you will see lots of rice and pasta dishes, grill cheese sandwiches, etc.

5. Support the Workers (Staffing)

Unfortunately, the shortages in staffing have increased since the COVID-19 Pandemic.  According to the latest mandatory reporting requirements (second quarter of 2021), less than one-third of nursing homes meet minimum standards and rates continue to decline[2].  This needs to be responsibly addressed at the federal and state level, and by the operators themselves.

4. Compassion

All of us; family members, residents, owners and operators, health care providers, lawyers and judges, oversight members, politicians, and others, respectfully, please remember that we are all in this together.  The power of a smile, a nod of the head, or saying “thank you” is always appreciated.

3. Emergency Preparedness (next Coronavirus)

As early as August 2018, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the Government regulatory arm of nursing homes) published a warning that a pandemic was on the horizon and that nursing homes were underprepared.  In response – nothing was done; the result – thousands died.

We need to be prepared for the next virus outbreak.  It is not a matter of if, but when.

2. Wages

Once again, the bedrock of quality nursing home care is staffing.  These people work hard, and in exceedingly difficult circumstances.  Operators of facilities need to provide better training, more staff, and pay a fair and respectable wage.

1. Protecting the Workers, Protects the Residents (Staffing)

Staffing is arguably the number 1 preventable problem in Nursing Homes.  It is an irrefutable fact that the real wages of health care workers stagnate, and the profits of nursing homes continue to rise.  The prognosis is not favorable.  There is industry consolidation and hedge funds are now big players in the field.

We wish all of you and happy, healthy, safe, and Pandemic free New Year.

Nursing Home Advocates

If you or someone you know is injured, please consider contacting Adams Law Firm, P.C. We have a successfully advocated on behalf of those injured due to harm, abuse and neglect throughout New York State and Northern New Jersey. There is no legal fee until we are successful.

Should you have any question, please contact us toll free at 888 MY 911 LAW (888.699.1152), or by email through our contact form here. Thank you.

Learn more about Nursing Home Abuse in New York State

Get In Touch

    Adams Law Firm, P.C Logo

    Adams Law Firm, P.C

    455 Route 304, Suite 105
    Bardonia, NY 10954

    Phone: 888 MY 911 LAW / (888- 699 -1152)

    New York State

    Our Law Firm has handled cases in all 4 corners of New York State

    Adams Law Firm Practices in: New York State, Western New york, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, North Country, Mowhawk Valley, Capital District, Hudson Valley, New York City, Long Island