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Nursing homes -- horrendous nationwide -- pump up the volume on aging in place!

This makes me very angry -- I hope it will enrage you as well. I must post this study about violations found in nursing homes, even though I am a long-term care ombudsman (volunteer -- we don't certify nursing homes!). I know that some of the ombudsman inspection checklist items are really not important (are the activities posted, the menus, the temperature of the refrigerator?). I also know that it is difficult to verify complaints, many of which are anonymous.

But  the failure of the agency nursing home inspection process (no incentives for improvement, only demerits) represents a risk to residents who go there. This study is a must-read. Please forward this link to whomever you think should see it.  1.5 million people in the US live in nursing homes. And who watches out for them? Not their families, not the agencies chartered with inspecting them, not the NY Times or ABC News.

From the Times article: "Citations were issued for violations including infected bedsores, drug errors, resident malnutrition, and patient abuse or neglect, the newspaper reported.

About 37,150 complaints were sent to inspectors last year about nursing home conditions, of which 39 percent were validated, the report said. Some 20 percent of the verified complaints involved patient abuse or neglect."

That must boost the urgency for keeping people out of these facilities. You know people who are in nursing homes, died there, or may have to go there soon. Let's pump up the energy level on aging in place technology. Combine the technologies we know that will work -- especially home monitoring and medication management -- with home care, advocate for Medicaid and Medicare funding of these services, and no one should have to enter a nursing home as they are constituted today. 

And for those vendors who are not targeting nursing homes with their products -- think again. Low and no tech (most nursing homes) cannot continue.



This is nursing home resident rights month. Who could argue -- often residents are the nation's forgotten citizens (except when it's time to vote, but that's another topic).

But what about the rights of elders who battle to stay out of them? Florida ranks 41st in the nation on spending for community-based care. Ninety-one percent of Medicaid dollars in Florida are spent on nursing homes.



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