This may be an older post from our website, but is definitely worth another look! As you may know, not all nursing homes are all created equal. In addition to having private or government-run facilities, nursing homes can either be accredited or not. Sometimes the differences between the different types of facilities are not immediately clear, but you should research all possible options before making a decision.
When an elderly person is admitted to a nursing home, there are several periods of time that are higher-risk for injury than other periods. This phenomenon has been studied and documented by numerous researchers. One study by Doupe et. al. (2011) titled "Nursing Home Adverse Events: Further Insight to Highest Risk Periods" talked about some of these situations. For example, some of the highest-risk periods including the following times and situations:-New residents account for a disproportionately high percentage of nonhip fractures and bedsores
-Hospitalized falls, hip fractures, and respiratory infections are most common immediately before resident death
-Skin ulcers are most likely for new nursing home residents coming from a hospital; this is independent of mobility All in all, transition periods, either just being admitted to a nursing home or in the late stages of life immediately preceding death, are the high-risk periods for nursing home residents. New nursing home residents transferred from hospitals pose an even higher risk for some conditions. Applying this knowledge, if someone you know has been recently admitted into a nursing home, the first three months are critical to monitor for any changing conditions or health issues. If you feel that your loved one needs more care than they are currently being given by the nursing home staff, you may need to discuss changes in your relative's individualized care plan.
In the past few years, there has been some backlash against personal injury attorneys and their lawsuits against nursing homes and hospitals. One such article, written in a large healthcare magazine, even went so far as to suggest that some attorneys use understaffing of workers as an excuse to create lawsuits for cases that would not otherwise be valid. These same writers are arguing for tort reform, which would also put a cap on awards for injury or negligence. They argue that, if there was a cap on awards in the state of Pennsylvania, there would be fewer legal claims and nursing homes may be able to use more workers. They also noted that arbitration decreases the projected expense and awards of cases.
The possibility that a resident of a nursing home may fall is a very real, serious danger. Every year approximately 1,800 senior citizens living in nursing homes die from fall-related injuries. To illustrate this point a little further, the CDC has compiled numbers that are shocking, to say the least. Only about 5% of adults 65 or older live in a nursing home, but nursing home residents account for about 20% of deaths from falls in this age group. A resident in a nursing home typically falls more than once, with the average resident having about 2.6 falls per year.
What exactly ARE nursing home standards of care? How do they affect your loved ones in nursing homes? What legal rights do you have in this regard? Read more through this week's Throwback Thursday blog post!Standards of care in nursing homes is an area that many do not fully understand. Most people unfamiliar with nursing home practices or the health profession assume that the care they hear about is common, standard practice. Unfortunately, some of the cases people hear about is actually below the official standards of care.
There is a new executive order by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf that is attempting to improve the lives of both PA's seniors, disabled citizens, and those who work with them. Within this order, Governor Wolf is allowing the workers who provide services to seniors and disabled persons to choose a representative to discuss workers' concerns and suggestions with state officials. However, some of our state's citizens appear unhappy with this order. On what side does your opinion fall? Take a look at the opinion article in a recent edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and let us know what you think!