Tuesday, September 30, 2008

HHS, ABC, NYTimes report major nursing home neglect

ABC World News Tonight aired a brief report on substandard care in nursing homes, especially in the New York area. The report stressed the difficulties nursing homes encounter in hiring staff, resulting in long periods of patient neglect. One patient with bedsores had not been turned for over 48 hours. Another had severe facial bruises that the nursing home maintained came from falls. In some communities, families can have video monitoring installed of care, but that might interfere with hiring. More than 90% of nursing homes violate at least one federal standard.

The ABC link for the Sept. 30 story is here.

The New York Times story (Sept. 30, p A20) is by Robert Pear and actually quotes a percentage of 94%, link here.

Sadly, many nursing homes tend to become lax with care if family members do not keep close tabs on them.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a $36 million grant program in 28 states to help older Americans, especially those with Alzheimers, stay in their homes. The link is here.

Nursing home performance is a critical issue for adult children. Even if parents have the money to pay for the care, adult children living in other areas may be disrupted if nursing homes fail and cause patients to be injured. And some states could start enforcing filial responsibility laws and compel adult children to pay for the care for indigent parents.

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