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10 Top Sources and Causes of Nursing Home Crises

Jack Halpern, Founder and CEO of My Elder Advocate, is a trusted advisor for elders and their families, assisting them with drafting blueprints for their future.

He and his team help clients navigate the difficult and sometimes confusing pathways of elder care. As a result, elders and their families have peace of mind knowing, a plan of action is in place to help them maintain control,

preserve their dignity and protect their independence, finances, property and rights.

by Jack Halpern-My Elder Advocate

Crisis Intervention

At some point in an elder’s life, a fall, stroke or other debilitating illness or condition makes it necessary for them to enter a nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing homes can be extremely dangerous places for the people they are charged with protecting!

Placements in a nursing home could be for a brief period of physical and occupational rehabilitation. But in many cases, long-term placement is required because an elder can no longer function without 24/7 skilled care.

There is no greater fear for an elderly person than being placed in a nursing home – even on a short-term basis. This fear is well founded in reality. The Federal Government admits that 45% of our 16,000 nursing homes are substandard. Another 25% of our nursing homes are labeled as “average.”

There’s not much room for error. These statistics mean that the uninitiated need an experienced navigator to cross enter this often-dangerous jungle… because the consequences of being in a bad nursing home can lead to death.

10 Top Sources and Causes of Nursing Home Crises

Nursing homes are supposed to keep elderly family members safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. These 10 line items create compounded problems that multiply until the only result is a death that didn’t have to happen the way it did.

Poor Staffing – Although there is a direct correlation between adequate staffing and quality of care, an overwhelming majority are regularly understaffed. This is especially true in the for-profit facilities that constitute 65% of U.S. nursing homes. In addition, because a majority of nurses’ aides and ancillary workers in facilities are underpaid and others work two shifts, this increases the risk to residents’ lives even more. Many for-profit nursing homes keep their facilities artificially understaffed.

Poor Infection Control – A dirty and germ infested environment is very dangerous to people whose health and immune systems are already severely compromised. Poor housekeeping, patient handling, food handling, and poor training are mostly responsible for this risk.

Decubitus Ulcers (aka Bedsores) – Bedridden nursing home residents may develop bedsores as a direct result of poor nursing care. Bedridden elders should be moved or repositioned every 2 hours to minimize rubbing, pressure, and friction. Lubricants and protective padding may also be helpful. Incontinent patients are particularly susceptible to bedsores because exposure to moisture from urine increases the risk of skin damage. Incredibly, more people in nursing homes die from complications resulting from bedsores than from any other illness. Click here to Learn More

Poor Nutrition – It’s a well-known fact that the lack of adequate nutrition can result in malnourishment. In turn, that can lead to a host of physical and mental problems –– including increasing the risk of developing bedsores. Since many residents have to be fed, lack of adequate staffing exacerbates this problem. In many cases feeding tubes are suggested for residents, to accommodate the staff.

Chemical Restraints and Management – Poor nursing homes use anti-psychotic drugs to manage or chemically restrain their hard-to-manage residents. Alzheimer’s and Dementia residents are especially at risk of being overmedicated with anti-psychotic drugs such as Haldol™, Risperdal™, Adavan™, and Seroquel™. The prolonged effects of these drugs are harmful and usually lead to death.

Nursing Home Evictions – There are many reasons why a nursing home might want to evict a resident. There are only five specific and clearly defined instances in which a resident of a nursing home may be evicted. It is clearly illegal to remove a resident for any other reason. Yet hundreds of residents are evicted every day from facilities. In some cases, a nursing home might not want to release a resident. This usually occurs when the resident is paying privately and the nursing home doesn’t want to lose the revenue.

Click here to read more….

Because They Can

April 12, 2013

by Diane Wilson

I read another story today about the abuse of children by a whistleblower who was shunned for years after she reported the abuse. When discussing why people abused these children, her answer was that they did it “because they can.” A simple answer, three simple words, but they pack a more powerful punch than any answer I have ever heard. It answers a question that has been asked for decades, something that has plagued psychoanalysts for years. “Because they can.” That’s it; that is the reason. No big mystery; just because they can. So now we have to ask the biggest question, why? Why can they? Why can they get away with this? Why are we allowing it? Why aren’t we the people standing up for the children and the elderly and the disabled? Why are we allowing these people to continue the abuse unabated?  When did this all become okay? When and why did we stop protecting the most vulnerable members of our society?      

When did respect for the elderly stop? When did it become okay to disrespect the elderly and ignore their wishes, as if what they say and how they feel and what they want is meaningless? When did it become okay for children to disrespect their parents and steal from them and verbally abuse them and refuse to help them?  When did it become okay for strangers–lawyers, judges, social workers, hospital staff, court personnel, nursing home owners, police officers and agency employees, the very people who are supposed to be protecting and watching out for the elderly– when did it become okay for these people to force the elderly to live in institutions against their will, to steal their homes and assets, to rape their bodies and estates, to medicate them with drugs to keep them complacent? When did it become okay to isolate the elderly from their families and deny them their rights to see their children and friends and loved ones? When did it become okay for judges and lawyers to deny the right of a wife to kiss and hug her husband? When did it become okay for these officers of the court to deny the right of children to hold their mother’s hand?  The answer is never; it has never been okay.

So when and why were the God-given rights of all people removed? Who did this? Who allowed it? The answer is we did. We allowed it. We allowed it by refusing to speak up against this type of tyranny, by pretending it didn’t exist, by not responding to pleas for help from those crying out to us. Those of us who are speaking out against it are still being ignored by the mainstream media. Money and power are two reasons. They are also afraid of retaliation from the judges of this country because somewhere along the line, judges were given God like powers. We need to remember that judges are people, no different from you and me, no different from the children and the elderly and the disabled that are part of our society. No one has the right to arbitrarily destroy the lives of people. They do it because they can.     

We need to take back our power, and remove the power from people who abuse it. When will you speak up? Will you speak up before they come for you?          

There are good and honest and ethical judges and lawyers in this country. My question to all of you is this: When will you speak up and do what is necessary to turn the tide of abuse? When will you do the job that you took an oath to do? When will you speak up? Will you speak up before they come for you?

We can fix this, before it’s too late, because we can.           

Family Protests Placing Elderly Woman In Assisted Living

Rachel Brown The Dalton Daily Citizen Wed Mar 27, 2013, 01:45 PM EDT

“Justice! We want justice! Free our grandmother! We want to take care of her!”

About 16 protesters outside the Whitfield County Courthouse Monday afternoon shouted and held signs to call attention to what they said was an unfair decision that resulted in an elderly family member being moved against her will into an assisted living facility.

Pam Akins said her mother-in-law, who is an Alzheimer’s patient, and the mother-in-law’s husband had lived with her and her husband, Marty, since October in their Dalton home. The Akins said caregivers sat with the older couple during the day when family members weren’t at home to watch them. Then other family members decided the woman would be better off in a nursing home, Akins said.

According to Akins, Probate Judge Sheri Blevins granted rights to those family members who have since placed the woman in professional care. That decision is under appeal.

Click here to read the entire story…..

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