Tag Archive : nursing care

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Nursing Home Care Isngt PerfectOne of the latest national surveys ranks Louisiana as having the second worst nursing homes in the country. Texas had the worst.

The news is depressing. However, the state Nursing Home Association takes issue with Families for Better Care, which did the nursing home survey. The association represents more than 250 of the state’s 281 certified non-profit and for-profit facilities that care for nearly 36,000 elderly and disabled citizens.

The organization that conducted the survey is a nonprofit advocacy group in Florida. And Joseph Donchess, executive director of the state association, was quick to question the motives of Families for Better Care. He told The Times Picayune the report was the product of an agency funded by attorneys who sue nursing homes. The newspaper noted that the Wilkes & McHugh law firm is a donor to the organization.

Other states that got “Fs”  included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oklahoma.

States getting “As” were Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Utah.

Full story of nursing home care at the American Press

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Eleven States with Failing Nursing Home GradesMore than one-and-a-half million Americans live in nursing homes, but the quality of care varies greatly. A report out Friday shows, for the first time, which states do a good job of caring for seniors and which fail to ensure that they won’t be neglected or abused.

Minnie Graham was a great-grandmother. At 97, she suffered from dementia.

“She was a fine Christian woman,” her granddaughter, Shirley Ballard, says. “And very loving. She would do anything for anybody.”

Graham lived in a nursing home outside Dallas for about a year when her family noticed bruises on her, then two black eyes.

“They said she fell out of her wheel chair,” Ballard says, adding she “absolutely” did not believe that had happened.

Graham’s family placed a clock, equipped with a hidden camera, in her bedroom, recording video for weeks. Graham resisted being changed; a nursing aide mocked her, pulled, pushed, then what sounds like a slap can be heard. The video also caught another aide shoving her.

Full story of all states that have failing nursing home grades at CBS Evening News

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Nursing Home Dental Hygeine in Poor ConditionsKatherine Ford visited her father, Dean Piercy, a World War II veteran with dementia, at a nursing home in Roanoke, Va., for months before she noticed the dust on his electric toothbrush. His teeth, she found, had not been brushed recently, so she began doing it herself after their lunches together.

But after he complained of a severe, unrelenting headache, she said, she badgered the staff to make an appointment for him with his dentist. The dentist found that a tooth had broken in two, and he showed Ms. Ford the part that had lodged in the roof of her father’s mouth.

“I was livid,” said Ms. Ford, 57, a court reporter. “I’m there every day, pointing out he’s in pain — and he had dental insurance. So there’s no reason this wasn’t addressed.”

In nursing homes across the country, residents like Mr. Piercy are plagued by cavities, gum disease and cracked teeth, in part because their mouths are not kept clean. While residents now require more dental care than in the past, nursing home employees are rarely prepared to provide it. Aides are swamped with other tasks, and when older charges must be helped to the toilet, fed or repositioned in bed, brushing their teeth often falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

Even when care is available, few staff members are trained to cope with the rising numbers of residents with dementia who resist routine dental hygiene.

Full story of nursing homes dental hygiene at The New York Times

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Elderly Family Coping at HomeSex pervades our culture. Sex tapes skyrocket celebrities to fame, and politicians’ careers are derailed when their sexual dalliances inevitably surface (just ask Anthony Weiner). So much of modern life is sexualized. Until, suddenly, it isn’t. Apparently, your sexual drive is supposed to power down sometime around when you open the mailbox and see an AARP membership card. It is commonly accepted that sexual appetite diminishes with age. Consequently, there are few provisions in place to protect our sexual rights once we enter nursing homes, as was recently illustrated in an infographic by Bloomberg.

Of course, my mom was the one to enlighten me about these statistics. She informed me that she was “riveted to the infographic” and “quite concerned.” And rightfully so. My mom is a baby boomer, and over the next several decades, hers will become the largest generation of senior citizens in U.S. history. And you can bet they will want all of their rights — sexual rights included.

Full story of sex in nursing homes at PolicyMic

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Spying on Nursing Home Employees a ProblemMike DeWine’s words spread like wildfire.

The Ohio attorney general had just announced that he was shutting down a Zanesville nursing home after authorities had installed surveillance cameras in patients’ rooms because of complaints about mistreatment.

It marked the first time state authorities had used “granny cams” to spy on nursing-home operations. DeWine promised it wouldn’t be the last.

“It’s a new day and a new way of approaching this,” he said on that June 6 morning. “Everyone has been put on notice as of today.”

So far this year, the attorney general’s office has opened 131 abuse and neglect cases, compared with 74 cases in the same period last year. Sixty-three of those cases were opened following DeWine’s news conference. And some of the other investigations involve the use of cameras, said DeWine spokeswoman Jill Del Greco.

Full story of spying on nursing home employees at The Columbus Dispatch

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How to Handle Nursing Home ConcernsMy dad lives in a nursing home, and I’ve become suspicious about some of its practices. What specifics should I look for and who do I turn to for help, especially since I fear any repercussions might fall on my father?

Dear Ms. Daughter: Having been in the same predicament, I can certainly empathize. As we Boomers age, more and more seniors have no familial or financial recourse but to enter a nursing home. If these folks are fortunate, the facility is reputable and clean with enough compassionate and caring staff. However, it seems more and more that this type of environment is on the decline rather than the rise.

Since you don’t specify any of the practices you believe to be harmful to your dad, I’ll address some of the more common concerns, as well as a few we normally don’t think about. Before beginning, though, it’s urgent you know your rights under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. It applies to every single nursing home throughout the country that’s certified to accept Medicare and/or Medicaid patients. Some of the more important aspects of this law mandate the right to freedom of choice over medical care, the right to refuse treatment and the right to advance notice of changes to the patient’s care or treatment plan. Unfortunately, many nursing homes ignore the law and, all too often, get away with it, especially because a family fears retaliation for its family member if making a formal complaint or are frightened the patient will get kicked out. (While the former does happen, the latter is illegal.)

Full story of handling nursing homes at Times Free Press

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Nursing Care Costs and Patient CareNew York’s Legislature is being pushed by the New York State Nursing Association to require hospitals to increase the ratio of nurses to patients, arguing that more nurses will result in better patient care, reduce deaths and leave hospitals financially intact.

What a curious justification of legislation that would increase health care delivery costs $3 billion. Of course everyone endorses lower death rates and better care. But a realistic look at New York’s hospitals should give advocates pause. Look at the hospitals in Brooklyn. They are perpetually in a state of near bankruptcy. Obligations to union medical and pension benefits funds are unpaid or in substantial arrears, vendors seek cash before medical supplies are delivered, the physical facilities atrophy and patients fearing the outcome of hospitalization utilize other medical facilities in New York City. The State University of New York hospital in Brooklyn, Downstate Medical University, loses millions of dollars a month.

In Brooklyn, the hospital system cannot afford to operate with today’s standards, let alone with adding a requirement that even more nurses be hired.

Full story of nursing care costs at The Daily News Online

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