Two Arizona nursing homes, one in Prescott and another in Tuscon, recently were listed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as being among the worst in the country.
The Prescott nursing home that performed poorly is called the Community Living Center. It's a relatively small facility with just 85 beds. Generally 40 less than that are occupied at any one time.
This nursing home is described as a short-term care stabilization and rehabilitation facility. Most veterans come to it to receive more dedicated medical care to include therapeutic interventions.
The Prescott facility received one star on the department's five-star scale. At least 45 percent of the residents interviewed at this location reported having to endure moderate to severe chronic pain over the course of several days without any intervention being taken. At other facilities, only one-third of residents reported the same symptoms for the same period of time.
On a positive note, researchers found that residents at the Prescott facility tended to have less bedsores, falls and ulcers than residents at other VA nursing homes.
The Tucson facility
While the department did not name nor go into great detail about the reasons for the poor rating, VA officials noted that a 90-bed Tucson nursing home received two stars out of five after speaking with its residents.
What's being done to improve VA nursing homes
After reviewing the report, Arizona's own veteran senator John McCain drafted a letter to the VA asking for more details on the data that was used to assess these facilities, and why their failures weren't made public sooner. He also asked about the measures that are being taken to correct these facilities' shortcomings and for a timeline for doing so.
In that same letter, McCain wrote that the rankings were inexcusable and that the country be doing more to care for its veterans.
When we hear about nursing home residents falling, developing bedsores or wandering from the premises, it often has to do with a facility having inadequate staffing to take care of those who live there. In situations where residents are forced to endure pain, it may be a sign that staff is inadequately trained to care for them.
A Tucson nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can explain what legal options you have to hold your loved one's facility accountable for not providing a high standard of care.