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VA nursing homes under fire for poor treatment of patients

One of the major tragedies in the United States is the state of Veterans Administration (VA) nursing homes. Many of these homes have low ratings, which is potentially a result of cases of abuse, neglect and other allegations.

A Sept. 4 article describes a problem seen in many low-rated nursing home facilities. A nurse was helping get a patient ready for bed when another began complaining of pain. She thought the 94-year-old veteran was fighting with someone, but it turned out that an aide was trying to help the man out of his wheelchair without assistance. This is a two-person job.

The patient, who has dementia, was "tossed" onto the bed, she stated. She claims it was brutal and reported the incident to the supervisor at the facility. That aide resigned, partially thanks to her report. Sadly, she was fired two weeks later for what she assumed was retaliation.

Tampa, Florida, Lyons, New Jersey and other VA facilities are among the lowest-rated nursing homes for veterans. The rating reflects problems such as bedsores, sudden declines in patient health and high rates of medication usage. Several instances of abuse and neglect were reported, including an incident where a veteran had to use his hands to eat when he could not use a spoon. The sad part was that staff members were standing nearby.

The quality of these nursing homes is under fire, and it's for good reason. If your loved one is hurt at one, remember that you have a right to speak up and make your grievances heard. It could help save a life and will help you get the justice your loved one deserves.

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