Nursing Home Oversight in North Carolina
Across North Carolina, there are roughly 1,200 private adult care homes, which provide 24-hour care for mentally and physically ill individuals. Unfortunately, oversight and enforcement of health and safety requirements have been “poor” overall by the state and local agencies. The Carolina Public Press conducted a six-month investigation that revealed these care homes are often responsible for resident neglect and abuse.
What Are Adult Care Homes?
Adult care homes are staffed to provide 24-hour personal care to multiple residents. They contract directly with residents, with residents’ families, or through agreements with the home health or hospice organizations. Many of the residents have significant cognitive problems and would be deemed “a safety risk” if left unsupervised. The trained staffs tend to residents’ personal care and administer medications.
There are three types of assisted living arrangements:
- Family care homes, which house between two and six residents in buildings with no more than two stories.
- Adult care homes exclusively for the elderly.
- Adult care homes that offer services to various ages.
Bill of Rights for Adult Care Home Residents
Each resident has civil rights, religious liberty, and the ability to independently make decisions without infringement. Residents should be encouraged to enjoy a good quality of life, have autonomy and privacy, and be treated in a dignified and respectful manner.
North Carolina on Abuse, Exploitation, Neglect
The state of North Carolina defines abuse as intentional or gross negligence by nursing staff that results in pain, injury, mental distress, confinement, or deprivation to a resident. Exploitation either generates profits or benefits someone else at the victim’s expense, usually financially. Residents are considered neglected when their basic physical or mental well-being is not being provided for.
Our legislature instructs “state and local agencies that monitor, oversee, and supervise the safety and dignity of the residents and their healthcare.” However, according to the article cited above, this oversight is sometimes lacking.
A resident, local agency, or guardian has a right to take civil action for violations of the rights of residents. If you suspect or see something, say something. North Carolina’s Adult Protective Services urges you to contact your local social services office and report any disturbing information.
North Carolina Nursing Home Lawyers
For many years, the attorneys at the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. have been pursuing justice on behalf of elderly or disabled victims who have been subjected to abuse, exploitation, or neglect by residential care providers. If you or a loved one has been mistreated, contact our office today for a free consultation at (910) 772-9960.