Over the past several months, we have attempted to gather as many different perspectives regarding nursing homes and the care they provide from people with varying backgrounds.
Today’s interview is with Mary Nix of EldercareABC.
A: The positive trends we have noticed would be the Green House movement created by Dr. William Thomas. You can read more about it here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-R-0618.htm
Q: What are some negative trends (if any) in the nursing home industry?
A: I think the amount of abuse of the elderly in nursing homes that we see popping up in the news around the country and the fact that nursing homes are businesses and often the bottom line is a profit and not the care of the individuals.
Q: What correlation do you see with respect to the national trends in the nursing home industry and the impact on patient care?
A: Again– since so much of staffing, resources and care depends on Medicare, Medicaid and other business factors, it is frightening that many individuals may be neglected simply because the funding is not what it should be. I am sure that most nursing homes are going above and beyond the call of duty to work around funding losses, but still it is the most quiet, non-verbal individual who cannot speak up that may feel the funding troubles the most.
Q: How would you compare the nursing homes of today vs. those of 20 years ago?
A: It seems that they have become more institutionalized rather than less. I hope that Green Houses might catch on and change that.
Q: What suggestions do you have for families when it comes to selecting a facility for their loved ones?
A: Visit at unexpected times, ask for references and see what the home offers. What is the staff to patient ration? What are the costs? I would suggest if a family has a complicated situation, that they consult with someone like yourself or a Geriatric Care Manger to make sure all aspects of the choice are studied and all resources utilized for your loved one.