It can be terrifying when an elderly relative vanishes. One New York man who recently went missing was fortunate to be in a car with an emergency device equipped, and to know how to reach help — but the help then chose not to help him at all, leaving his family mystified about the response.
Once upon a time, assisted living facilities were created as a happy medium between simple retirement communities and skilled nursing homes. Elderly residents would live largely independent existences but would, as the name implies, receive largely non-medical assistance for things they could no longer do on their own. But that has all changed, as more Americans lived longer and assisted living operators realized they had a virtually unregulated goldmine on their hands. [More]
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Michigan has cited two nursing homes for violations after a survey found two elderly women in their care had maggots in their throat and pubic areas. Now a watchdog group is investigating.
A pill is just so much easier. Drug ’em up and shut ’em up. Rather than deal with all the individual needs of elderly persons with dementia in their care, some nursing homes are dosing them with powerful antipsychotics. Not only have the folk not received a diagnosis that the medicine was designed to treat, not only does the drug turn them into zombies their families don’t recognize, but the FDA has warned that using antipsychotics on older patients with dementia nearly doubles their risk of death.
For some people in the Baby Boomer generation, the answer to taking care of their elderly parents was to give them a Life Alert necklace to call for help when they’d fallen and couldn’t get up. The Boomers are also the generation that popularized the use of baby monitors to keep tabs on their out-of-sight tots. So, with that generation going gray gracefully, some are looking to combine these two ideas into one system for adults to keep tabs on their elderly parents.
For some reason, there’s little more difficult money-wise than talking to our loved ones about money. We’re not so sure why this is the case, but for some reason the financial conversations aren’t that easy between one generation and the next. The Wall Street Journal brings up the issues associated with family money discussions in a couple of recent articles…
Of all the unusual gifts you can give Mom or Dad this holiday season, none would be more surprising than a simple card saying, “We’re putting you in a home.” Just make sure you don’t pick a bad one, because nearly a quarter of nursing homes were rated “much below average” in a new monthly federal evaluation.
The FTC launched the strangely named “Who Cares” resource site for older patients and those who care for them. It’s a reliable source for knowledge about generics, hormone therapies, hiring caregivers, hearing aids, and alternative treatments, located at ftc.gov/whocares.
“My grandmother informs them once they are done that she will not be paying them any more money, and that this has gone to the states attorney’s office. On hearing this, one of the installers gets on his cell phone and calls his boss. They talk, he hangs up and walks into the bathroom and proceeds to take off the tub door. He walks out of the bathroom with this door and my grandmother says what are you doing and grabs the door…”
If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs—even if those eggs are old people who die from bedsores that have become infected. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say that on average, patients at nursing homes that are bought by private investment firms do worse than those at other nursing homes, with higher rates of depression, increased loss of mobility, and less ability to dress and bathe themselves. The New York Times has a horror story on 48 Florida nursing homes where staff was reduced to levels below mandatory requirements and didn’t repair equipment or keep facilities sanitary. Even senior activities were reduced. And there are thousands of (now profitable) nursing homes across the country that are owned by private investment companies.
SmartMoney is trying to spin it as a “take care of yourself” article, but we know that the real reason you’re in the market for a good retirement home is because Dad has gotten older and he’s nowhere near the madcap character Abe Simpson is on TV. Luckily for you (and your dad), they’ve put together a brief guide of 5 things you should look for when choosing a retirement home. You know, for “yourself.”