Recently, a Philadelphia-area nursing home is under fire for supposedly contributing to a wrongful death case. The death, which is thought to be due negligence on the part of the nursing home staff, came after a series of illnesses which affected an elderly woman in the home's case. The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the resident needed 24 hour care, due to a history of trouble walking, dementia, and other issues. However, she was still was often found on her floor in her bedroom of the nursing home unattended, and it was clear that she had fallen. Eventually, the resident had a fall that was so severe that she had to go to the emergency room. Upon returning to the nursing home, she was placed in hospice care and passed away about two months after her accident.
It is not uncommon for elderly nursing home residents to be in poor health or in need of medical assistance. In some of these situations, an emergency room visit may be essential for that patient. However, an emergency room visit may also lead to infection in the nursing home later on.
Wow, what a great idea to help our state's nursing home residents during the holiday season! A Doylestown-based nonprofit organization called Wrapping Presence recently spent the day helping area nursing home residents pick out gifts from new and donated items to wrap for Christmas and Hanukkah presents. This is a really special service, especially for those residents who cannot physically or mentally get to a store, pick out presents for their family and friends, and stand in line. The staff at the nursing home spent several weeks ahead of time figuring out what their residents may be interested in giving as gifts, and tried to coordinate the donations to meet their wishes. The donations of gifts and money towards gifts had been a year-long fundraising process, culminating with this event where the seniors were able to pick out their gifts. The event was arranged with the help of over 650 volunteers who work with 19 nursing homes in the Doylestown area.
The nursing home industry is one that is experiencing growth right now, since many aging Americans from the "baby boom" generation are beginning to retire and some decide to enter into nursing homes and assisted living facilities. With the boom in patients, nursing home are either hiring more attendants or giving attendants longer work hours. Unfortunately, nursing homes also have a high turnover rate for employees.
- Plan and encourage participation in inside, social activities. The local YMCA or community center may have activities that will appeal to seniors in the area.
- Keep a close eye out for signs of frostbite, which tend to affect older adults because they often have diminished circulation.
- Check in frequently, and see if elderly neighbors need help with things like shoveling, grocery shopping, and outside maintenance.
- If elderly adults have to go outside to do maintenance, encourage them to take frequent breaks to come inside, rest, and warm back up.
- Beat back the symptoms! Make sure you get outside and soak up some sunlight, even if it's cold.
- Make sure to eat well and do not give into your urges for saltier, fattier, and more sugar-laden food.
- Go out and meet with friends or family to improve your mood. Even meeting a friend for quick cup of coffee can significantly elevate your mood.
- Keep in mind that seasonal differences in mood actually tend to affect more younger people as opposed to older people, so keep an eye on your children and young adults for any significant changes in mood. Seniors are another high-risk population for seasonal affect changes.
- If your mood has not improved, even after the use of the above methods, you may wish to consult with your doctor about the possibility of light therapy.