A new federal inspection report shows nursing home neglect and abuse has been pervasive at Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the country, including Augusta, Maine. Residents have been denied medication, trapped in wheelchairs for hours and have sustained wounds rivaling those they suffered in combat. Inspectors reported spotting nurses sleeping on-the-job, and other nurses unable to respond to distress calls because patients had no functional call light.
An estimated 40,000 veterans are residents at VA nursing homes throughout the country at any given time. A joint report by USA Today and the Boston Globe revealed that in a VA nursing home in Maine’s capital, veterans, without enough medication, spent hours clearly in pain .
The reporting team first revealed that private contractor inspectors investigated the VA system nine months ago, but until recently their actual reports weren’t made public. The reports painted a picture of abysmal care of aging and vulnerable veterans and revealed that of 99 VA nursing homes inspected, 55 were cited for care deficiencies that resulted in actual harm to veterans. In three of those cases, inspectors discovered that the health and safety of veterans was in immediate jeopardy. Continue reading