Elderly Care Resources: Nursing Home Safety
While there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the nursing home business is one of the top businesses to need a complete overhaul, the recent issues within the system are far too great to ignore. In our own dealings with nursing homes, we often find the gamete of situations from the worst, to the best. The best are often unrecognized nurses and certified nursing assistants who do truly care for the job and treat your family members like their own. Those are few and far between. The worst situations often involve those nurses and CNAs on the opposite end of the spectrum, who are only there because schools pay them to be, or the job was easy to acquire because of the high demand.
Another aspect of the worst situations is the business and governmental side of things, which we have all seen all over the news reports with the recent hurricanes and weather events. Because the laws, rules and regulations that exist within these nursing home walls have not been updated, there is no flexibility for your family member’s situation or needs. Major issues, whether it be mental or physical needs, are often ignored because the paperwork to address those needs takes too long, and will most likely be denied by the institution or insurance companies anyway. In our own situation, if certain mental needs would have been met early on, would the outcome of Nancy’s demise have been different? Would having better laws and rules about DNR orders have saved Barb from a year of vegetable-like living she never wanted? Would having set emergency plans for evacuation and power loss have saved the elderly in the hurricanes?
In the past two weeks, there have been incidents in two different states in regards to the safety of their residents. One nursing home began to flood in Texas during hurricane Harvey, floating all of its residents into one room to wait for days in chest deep, cold, dirty water for rescue. After their rescue, the facility blamed the State, who blamed the Federal government; and then the issue disappeared. A week later after the impact of Irma, another nursing home facility lost power in the intense Florida heat, and eight residents died, with multiple others sickened. The Florida facility even had access to the hospital across the street that had generators running, power, and cool air.
What is the excuse? Why are these the first places to be forgotten? How are the places and companies responsible for our family patriarchs and matriarchs being held responsible for their quality of life?
These facilities are making thousands of dollars per month off of each resident. Medicaid residents make them less than those with private pay insurances, so this leaves no question that there should be plenty of funds to cover the basic human needs, including emergency plans. If those very people who depend on Medicaid have to follow rigorous rules to stay in the program and prove their incomes and every other life aspect, shouldn’t the very companies that benefit, support and supply them have some responsibility in their safety?
Of course nothing in the nursing home industry will be corrected, or rectified anytime soon. Especially in a government where no one agrees, or stays on the payroll for longer than a week. Something needs to be done for the elderly in our country. It should not be that these great people are forgotten after they hit retirement age. They all worked hard for our country just as I am, as we are, doing now. I do not want to think of 80 as my nursing home sentence where the world and my family forget about me. I want to know that my life will be celebrated, and the good I did in the world is continued through my family. And maybe, just maybe, we will see change in the nursing home industry in our lifetime!