I have had a parent in the long-term care industry for some time. I have seen some good things and many not so good things that will never change without enough voices and force. Activism is not really my thing except when it comes to my mother's care but I am very concerned about what I see. If it is the case that there are 1.4MM residents in 15.7K mostly for profit nursing homes with the demand for care expected to rise in the future, things must change.
I have seen poor response physician care, poorly trained aides, incredibly high turnover, unnecessary testing, overmedication of residents and have encountered deception and lies. If you have not seen the tax waste in this system, you ought to take a look. Patients should be receiving far higher levels of care then they do with the costs paid out by Medicare and Medicaid. They should also have much better equipment such as beds and wheelchairs and never lack broad nutritional options-yes, they often get shamefully cheap food. Perhaps taking the profit out of the system is the answer?
Regulations are important but a small army is needed to drop in and check nursing homes at odd and unexpected times, this has to happen. If not, the insidious practices that are so prevalent and known to be "just the way it is" will continue. It should also be mandatory that each facility has a family council because the relationship between families and many nursing homes is rightly adversarial and lacks trust. This is not always the case but try having a parent or loved on who needs more than a tylenol.
Please offer any input you can like what agencies to write, what politicians to write and ways to make a difference. Even a small step might lead to some change. I cannot in good conscience stand idle and allow what I know and see to not be useful to others who may be in the system or need to be in years to come.