Reporting a nursing home for uncleanliness?

  1. I recently accompanied a private duty patient I am staying with to the nursing home to visit her sister, who is a patient there. I guess I led a sheltered life when I worked LTC because while the nursing home where I worked was very plain and modest it had no smell and you could eat off the floors, so to speak. The nursing home I went to yesterday, however, was FILTHY! It was dingy, for one thing but what appalled me was the smell of urine, feces, vomit and disease nearly knocked you down. I had to hold my hand over my nose and it angered me to see how things were there, especially knowing what it cost to stay in a nursing home and how those poor people have been stripped to poverty to stay there. Talk about exploiting the elderly.

    But anyway...

    I thought these places were regulated by the state???
    Is it a legitimate enough reason to call and report a facility for being stinky? Would they even order the facility to do something about it?
    I'm not about running to tattle on every little infraction but this takes the cake.
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    you can do this anon if you wish..the state will visit either formally or informally and determine if this is an ongoing problem or specific to the day you were there
  4. by   RN1989
    You can contact the ombudsman and talk to him/her. They can go in and discreetly take a look and see if things are founded or not. The NHs are usually less threatened when the ombudsmen come in than they are when the actual state investigators come. The ombudsman usually can get more info and catch them in the act easier if there is something that needs to be found out.
  5. by   donsterRN
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    I recently accompanied a private duty patient I am staying with to the nursing home to visit her sister, who is a patient there. I guess I led a sheltered life when I worked LTC because while the nursing home where I worked was very plain and modest it had no smell and you could eat off the floors, so to speak. The nursing home I went to yesterday, however, was FILTHY! It was dingy, for one thing but what appalled me was the smell of urine, feces, vomit and disease nearly knocked you down. I had to hold my hand over my nose and it angered me to see how things were there, especially knowing what it cost to stay in a nursing home and how those poor people have been stripped to poverty to stay there. Talk about exploiting the elderly.

    But anyway...

    I thought these places were regulated by the state???
    Is it a legitimate enough reason to call and report a facility for being stinky? Would they even order the facility to do something about it?
    I'm not about running to tattle on every little infraction but this takes the cake.
    It sounds like an absolutely horrible place. It's my understanding that nursing homes do indeed have to meet a minimum standard of providing a safe environment for their residents; the filth you've described would certainly seem to violate that. It definitely can and should be reported.

    I can only imagine how those residents must be treated.

    Please file the report and post about what happens.
  6. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from RN1989
    You can contact the ombudsman and talk to him/her. They can go in and discreetly take a look and see if things are founded or not. The NHs are usually less threatened when the ombudsmen come in than they are when the actual state investigators come. The ombudsman usually can get more info and catch them in the act easier if there is something that needs to be found out.
    How do I find and ombudsman?
  7. by   Medic04
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    I recently accompanied a private duty patient I am staying with to the nursing home to visit her sister, who is a patient there. I guess I led a sheltered life when I worked LTC because while the nursing home where I worked was very plain and modest it had no smell and you could eat off the floors, so to speak. The nursing home I went to yesterday, however, was FILTHY! It was dingy, for one thing but what appalled me was the smell of urine, feces, vomit and disease nearly knocked you down. I had to hold my hand over my nose and it angered me to see how things were there, especially knowing what it cost to stay in a nursing home and how those poor people have been stripped to poverty to stay there. Talk about exploiting the elderly.

    But anyway...

    I thought these places were regulated by the state???
    Is it a legitimate enough reason to call and report a facility for being stinky? Would they even order the facility to do something about it?
    I'm not about running to tattle on every little infraction but this takes the cake.
    Hi, the sad thing is MOST Nursing Homes are like what you have described with the dingy, understaffed, dirty ( saw a shower area once and it was so cracked, with black mold and who knows what else), smells, it breaks yor heart people are PAYING to be treated this way and have no control over it.
  8. by   Jolie
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    How do I find and ombudsman?
    The name and number of the Ombudsman responsible for the facility you visited should have been prominently displayed in a public area of the nursing home (by law). It doesn't surprise me that it wasn't.

    Call your State Department of Aging, or Google Long Term Care Ombudsman for your state.

    Once a complaint is made, which can be anonymous, the Ombudsman must make an unannounced visit the facility within a certain time frame (I believe it is 48 hours). If you leave your name and contact information, they will get back to you with a report.
  9. by   CoffeeRTC
    Quote from Medic04
    Hi, the sad thing is MOST Nursing Homes are like what you have described with the dingy, understaffed, dirty ( saw a shower area once and it was so cracked, with black mold and who knows what else), smells, it breaks yor heart people are PAYING to be treated this way and have no control over it.

    Okay...you said MOST and not ALL Alot of the homes in our area are excellent on the outside. In fact, some are down right beautiful, but th at doesn't mean they are the best.
    I work in an outdated facility, there are some cracks, but they are clean cracks. Odors should only happen and be temporary. (like during a change etc. )
    Report them. Report them now. I'm willing to bet the smell is just a tip of the iceberg.
    ther are very stringent rules on these things.
    Medicare.gov
  10. by   LMoonRN
    I personally believe you have a duty to report in order to protect the vulnerable patients. This can be done anonymously as far as I'm aware. It takes a lot of courage to report something but you are doing the right thing!!!

close