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For-profit nursing homes may pose greater dangers

The decision to move an elderly relative into an assisted living facility is never an easy one. No one wants to face a lack of independence and privacy after a long, well-lived life. The advantages of full-time professional care often makes the choice inevitable.

The safety and health of our senior citizens should always be the main priority. Nursing home managers and staff are trained to hold this responsibility very dear, but some circumstances can make it harder than usual to keep nursing home residents happy and problem-free.

Most potential nursing home residents or their families will do research on possible residences to make sure there are no existing threats, such as a record of neglecting patients' needs. A journal studying the needs of aging Americans determined that for-profit nursing homes are almost twice as likely to have neglect issues than other institutions.

"We saw more, and more serious, diagnoses among residents of for-profit facilities that were consistent with severe clinical signs of neglect, including severe dehydration in clients with feeding tubes which should have been managed," said the leader of the study.

The lowest risks for abuse involve people who need help with daily needs but live at home. If this is not an option, it is important to make the decision to move to a nursing home very carefully.

The victims of neglect in nursing homes or abuse at the hands of assisted living staff may claim financial damages to correct inappropriate behavior and prevent future problems in the same institution. An attorney can help victims and their families determine the best next legal step after a case of nursing home neglect.

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