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Nursing home abuse flag can help identify dangerous facilities

Nursing home abuse is a horrible situation for anyone to go through. The elderly are among the most vulnerable, and that means that they're more likely to go through neglect or abuse that is not reported.

It is important for you to know if your loved one's nursing home has a history of issues with abuse. That's why a new online icon is helping flag nursing homes for abuse, exploitation and negligence. A Nov. 1 report out of Florida states that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is doing its best to help people find the right nursing home for their loved ones and to make the process more transparent.

Knowledge on incidents that take place in nursing homes helps people make decisions about where they want to allow a loved one to live. The icon that has been added to Medicare's Nursing Home Compare page now pops up if abuse has happened to a resident in a nursing home within the last 12 months or if there was cited abuse that could have injured a resident in the last two years. Presently, there are two facilities in Pensacola with the red icon. Both cases were for negligence.

The icons are updated monthly, so nursing homes won't be flagged longer than necessary. In the short-term, however, choosing nursing homes without these icons likely means that you're choosing a safer facility for the person you love and want to care for. Nursing home abuse can maim and kill, so the more transparent the process is, the better it will be for patients.

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