State regulators will be visiting at least 40 different nursing homes across North Carolina this week to ensure that the homes are following new guidelines. These guidelines, which may help to lessen the occurrence of nursing home abuse in North Carolina, place a limit on the number of residents who and suffer from primary behavior health issues, such as mental illness or substance abuse issues. Nursing homes are prohibited from having more that 50% of their 22 to 65-year-old patients in this category.

The new guidelines and visits come as North Carolina officials struggle with the problem of how to best care for the state's mentally ill. According to North Carolina law, nursing homes are expressly for the care of the elderly who can no longer live without assistance. However, because proper housing environments are difficult to find for the mentally ill who can't care for themselves, many have found homes in adult care facilities in recent years. At the same time, some nursing homes can increase their profits and fill beds by admitting those with mental health issues and increasing their number of Medicaid claims.

This blending of the elderly and the mentally ill causes several issues: In many cases, those on the nursing home staff are not properly trained to care for patients with behavioral problems. In other cases, the mentally ill can abuse, assault, or otherwise harm elderly patients.

If your elderly loved one has been harmed by a mentally ill nursing home resident in North Carolina, you should speak with a Raleigh nursing home neglect attorney immediately. Call Brent Adams today to schedule a free informational meeting.

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