Category: Nursing Homes

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Neglecting Elderly Never an OptionImagine for a moment that your pet dog, Rufus, is sick.

Doggy Doctor Inc. is happy to take Rufus for a week — but only if you promise not to pop in to see what kind of care he’s getting.

Would you leave him?

Of course, not. You care too much about Rufus to trust him to any business that doesn’t want you to see how it operates.

If you wouldn’t accept that kind of treatment for your dog, why would you take it for your mother?

That concept is key in the ongoing debate over assisted-living facilities with shoddy — even deadly — safety records.

In Florida, family members are free to visit. But there are efforts to keep regulators and watchdogs at bay — even as troubling reports of neglect and abuse continue to mount.

Full story of neglecting the elderly at Orlando Sentinel

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Body Vibration Platform to Help the ElderlyWhen the elderly can’t exercise, stints on a vibrating platform may help older adults become slightly stronger, faster and more agile, according to a small short-term study.

Exercise is the best option for good health in older age, lead author Alba Gómez Cabello told Reuters Health in an email. But for those unable to perform aerobic exercise, this vibration technique “could be an easy and quick treatment to improve physical fitness.”

The method involves standing on top of a flat platform about the size of a boogie board that sends mild vibrations through the feet to the rest of the body, while the person does exercises such as standing or squatting. Bending the knees helps transmit the vibrations, said Cabello, who studies growth and exercise at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

Full story of the vibrating platform at Reuters

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Obama Working on Social Security DebtDeclaring “we are not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama warned Monday that Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government’s borrowing authority in a showdown over the nation’s debt and spending.

Obama said he was willing to negotiate deficit reduction with GOP leaders but insisted those talks be separate from decisions to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling and avert a possible first-ever national default.

“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” Obama said. “What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people.”

Bitter brinkmanship between the White House and Republicans over spending has become a defining event over the past four years, testing both Obama’s leverage and his resolve at different moments of his presidency. House Speaker John Boehner brushed off Obama’s tough talk.

Full story of debt limit for elderly at South Coast Today

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Advocating for the ElderlyRita Mertens, a long-time retiree to the Central Coast, has been advocating for the elderly for more than 20 years. As a state-certified Long Term Care Ombudsman, Mertens volunteers her time visiting long-term care facilities to ensure that residents receive the highest possible quality of life and care.

Mertens is part of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of San Luis Obispo County, a nonprofit organization mandated by the Federal Americans Act and the Older Californians Act to advocate for residents of long-term care facilities. The goal of the Ombudsman Program is to enhance the quality of life, improve the level of care, protect residents’ rights, and promote the dignity of each California citizen living in a long-term care facility.

The Ombudsman Program is a national- and state-level program that began in the 1970s when politicians became aware of care problems in long-term care facilities. Many dedicated volunteers and family members worked to develop the national and state Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to ensure that facility residents receive quality care, their rights are respected, and they are free from abuse.

Full story of advocating for the elderly at New Times SLO

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Elderly Patient on Mushroom TreatmentA woman admitted to Dominican Hospital on Sunday after eating toxic mushrooms has responded so well to treatment with a European antidote that she’s likely to be discharged Thursday, according to Dr. Todd Mitchell.

The woman had eaten six death cap mushrooms, “a very large ingestion,” and experienced “a stormy 24 hours” in the hospital, said Mitchell.

In addition to the drug treatment, a radiologist used a tube to drain the toxic bile from the patient’s gallbladder — an experimental procedure recommended by Mitchell for a mini-Australian shepherd who ate poisonous mushrooms in the Anderson Valley in July. The dog recovered.

Eating wild mushrooms can be expensive, requiring a liver transplant or kidney dialysis, or fatal.

In the past two years, four people in California have died from mushroom poisoning, according to Mitchell, who was called when residents of an elder care home in Loomis fell ill after consuming wild mushroom soup.

Full story of elderly patient on mushrooms at Mercury News

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Nursing Homes Packed for the HolidaysHundreds of elderly and disabled New Yorkers who were hurriedly evacuated from seaside nursing homes and assisted living residences after Superstorm Sandy are still in a grim limbo two months later, sleeping on cots in temporary quarters without such comforts as private bathrooms or even regular changes of clothes.

Their plight can be seen at places like the Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Brooklyn, which was full before the refugees arrived and is now swollen to nearly double its licensed capacity.

For eight weeks, close to 190 patients forced out of the flooded Rockaway Care Center in Queens have been shoehorned into every available space at the 240-bed Bishop Hucles.

Most still didn’t have beds last week. Instead, they bunked on rows of narrow, increasingly filthy Red Cross cots in rooms previously used for physical therapy or community activities. More than a dozen slept nightly in the nursing home’s tiny chapel.

Full story of nursing home at New York Daily News

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Challenges of Taking Care of the ElderlyAs the human lifespan increases, families are putting more time and effort into caring for their aging parents and grandparents. By 2008, it was estimated that the average woman could expect to spend more years caring for an older family member than for her own children.

But providing in-home care doesn’t work for everyone. For many families, finding the right nursing home or assisted-living arrangement is crucial. Ross Reynolds talks about the issues surrounding elderly care with Wendy Lustbader, a p​rofessor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

Senior Information And Assistance
Phone: (206) 448-3110
Toll Free: 1-888-435-3377
Website: www.seniorservices.org

Full audio portion at KUOW.org

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Find Help Without Living in a Nursing HomeYou can no longer live on your own without the help of a caregiver, but you aren’t yet ready to surrender your independence to a nursing home.

Join the club. A 2010 study by the AARP found that nearly three-quarters of adults ages 45 and older say they’d prefer to age at home as long as possible.

Suzanne Modigliani, a geriatric care manager in Boston, notes that seniors who choose to live a more independent lifestyle, especially those who live alone, should exercise greater vigilance when choosing service providers.

“People can be more vulnerable at home because there’s less oversight, so it’s important to monitor the quality of service,” says Modigliani. “Also, when they are on their own, no one may notice that they missed a medical exam or forgot to wear their Lifeline medical alert system and fell down.”

Full story of living without a nursing home at Fox Business

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Nursing Home AbuseMORE than half of nursing home staff admit having witnessed neglect of elderly residents and one in four has watched as the vulnerable people were psychologically abused.

One in eight of staff surveyed in private and public nursing homes say they have observed physical abuse.

The stark findings are revealed in a report from the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at UCD after a survey of 1,300 nurses and healthcare assistants from 64 nursing homes.

It also shows that despite inspectors making announced and unannounced visits to nursing homes, they are not picking up many cases of poor treatment.

Three percent of staff confessed they themselves were the perpetrators of some form of physical abuse and 8pc had engaged in psychological abuse.

The report revealed:

? The most frequently observed forms of physical abuse were restraining a resident beyond what was needed and pushing, grabbing, shoving or pinching them.

Full story of nursing home neglect at Independent IE

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Forced To Choose Nursing Home or HospiceAn older person, someone who will die within six months, leaves a hospital. Where does she go?

Almost a third of the time, according to a recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, records show she takes advantage of Medicare’s skilled-nursing facility benefit and enters a nursing home. But is that the best place for end-of-life care?

In terms of monitoring her vital signs and handling IVs — the round-the-clock nursing care that the skilled-nursing facility benefit is designed to provide — maybe so. But for treating end-of-life symptoms like pain and shortness of breath, for providing spiritual support for her and her family, for palliative care that helps her through the ultimate transition – hospice is the acknowledged expert.

She could receive hospice care, also covered by Medicare, while in the nursing home. But since Medicare only rarely reimburses for both hospice and the skilled-nursing facility benefit at the same time, this hypothetical patient and her family face a financial bind. If she opts for the hospice benefit, which does not include room and board at the nursing home, then she will be on the hook for hundreds of dollars a day to remain in the facility.

Full story of old age living choices at The New York Times

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