Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some people question whether elders should be placed in nursing homes or other facilities at all; the personal responsibility of family?

There is a website called “Associated Content” that has a number of cross-referenced articles by Shalanda Jenkins, from back in July 2007, “Is your loved one really safe in a nursing home: things to know in search of the perfect nursing home and care facility?” link (website url) here. On the right frame of the page there are links to related articles about elder abuse and nursing home abuse. In the body of this article Jenkins writes “Studies show that when you participate in the emotional healing of a dementia or alheizmer patient, they are more inclined to more communication of some aspect if they know that they have someone close to them in reach. Better they are taken care of at home with a screened, skilled home nurse than being in a nursing facitlity under responsibility of an aide who has eight other people to look after, one of which requires more attention than your loved one..” Home health care, for 24 x 7 , may be more expensive than nursing home care and certainly more than assisted living.

She encourages family members to look very closely at any care facility, and seems to suggest that at some level care really cannot be bought or outsourced. She also writes, anecdotally without naming any institutions (and I do not identify them on my blogs either), that when she worked as a CAN (certified nursing assistant), that in some facilities, people would say that certain patients could be neglected because no “family” looked in on them. This is certainly an egregious attitude from employees of an institution, but it might grow worse with demographics.

Here is a nice reference on choosing between a nursing home and an assisted living center, from October 2008, here. Assisted living facilities are not allowed to give medical treatment, although they can dispense (and keep accurate track of) medications from a pharmacy (and must, for most patients, especially those with any cognitive impairment at all), and charge separately for the service.

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