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        Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

        Nursing Homes Must Notify Family of Any Changes in Resident’s Condition

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        A facility is required to notify certain parties after a change in a nursing home resident’s condition.  Failure to do so violates Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 42, Section 483.10(b)(11).

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        October is Speak Out Against Elder Abuse Month

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Residents’ Rights Month

        Residents Rights Month is the perfect time to reflect upon the overall care and treatment of our loved ones in Nursing Homes. We must remember the difficult road we undertook when choosing a qualified facility to oversee and keep safe our parents. The rights that they have are not any different from the same rights they had the day before they entered the facility. The right to receive unopened mail, to practice their religion of choice, to receive visitors, to choose a physician they are comfortable with, to be informed of all care and treatment, and to receive such care in a dignified manner, while keeping our loved ones safe. These are all rights among many others that nursing homes are charged with providing on a daily basis. The right to a quiet and peaceful environment is equally important and often times one of the most overlooked by most nursing homes. When I was a Vice President of a Nursing Home company here in Illinois, I used to implore are Administrators to ensure the residents were all treated as if they were the only person in the whole facility. Talking to residents and treating them with respect; offering a quiet and enjoyable dining experience, rather than a room filled with loud music because that’s what the aides want to hear, is not an attitude of embracing residents rights.

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        Nursing Home Resident Trust Funds: Facts and Relevant News

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        What is a Nursing Home Resident Trust Fund? – A Brief Overview

        A nursing home “resident trust fund” is an optional account that consists of the resident’s money. This account is managed by the nursing home on behalf of the resident and is used for expenditures.

        It is important to note that this trust account is optional and that money can still be managed seperatly from the nursing home and that an incoming resident is not required to set up a resident trust fund with a nursing home. If it is desired that the nursing home manages the money of the resident, it is imperative that all necessary information is carefully reviewed to ensure that the nursing home is correctly manging the money according to applicable federal laws and state laws.

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        Windows to the Outside: A Requirement for Nursing Home Bedrooms

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Federal law requires residents’ rooms, as defined by Section 13-3.8.1 of the 1985 edition of the Life Safety Code, to have at least one window to the outside.  This requirement serves as a way to assist a resident’s orientation to day and night, weather, and a general awareness of space outside the facility.  The facility is required to provide a “safe, clean, comfortable and homelike environment” by deemphasizing the institutional character of the setting.  Windows are a key aspect to ensuring the facility has a homelike environment.  See Nursing Home Federal Regulation 483.70(d)(1)(vi), Interpretive Guidelines.

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        Proper Catheterization Requirements for Nursing Homes

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Nursing home residents are subject to emotional abuse when nursing home staff does not properly implement catheterization procedures.  During the time that a resident is forced to remain in a soiled bed, his or her dignity is compromised. In addition, when a resident is not turned frequently, they are susceptible to pressure ulcers and infection.  Thus, proper catheterization procedures are crucial to maintaining resident’s physical health and emotional well-being.

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        Study Suggests Sources of Depression for Female Caregivers

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        A study done at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor indicates that negative relations with stepchildren can compound the burdens a wife feels while caring for her husband suffering from forms of dementia.

        Lead author of the study, Carey Wexler Sherman, said, “We learned from women in the study that those with higher levels of care-related disagreements with stepfamily members felt a significantly greater burden and feelings of depression related to care.”  She and the co-authors acknowledge that the study was small.  In order to hone the study’s results, the authors suggest participants be followed for a longer time and be representative of the population’s diversity.

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        Stress Could Advance Development of Alzheimer’s Disease

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        A new study, published on September 30, 2013, suggests that middle-aged women with lots of stress are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease down the road.

        The study conducted by a group of Swedish psychiatrists and phyisiologists examined a sample of 800 women born in 1914, 1918, 1922, and 1930.  It measured how certain psychosocial stressors, including divorce, widowhood, work problems, and illness, affected the results of neuropsychiatric examinations.  During the 37 years of follow-up on the women, 153 developed dementia, 104 of which had Alzhiemer’s disease.  Each individual stressor women reported increased their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 20 percent.

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        World Report on Alzheimer’s Disease, 2013

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        On September 19, 2013, Alzheimer’s Disease International released its world report on the analysis of long-term care for those with dementia.  It highlights the future of medical care for people with dementia, a global issue that requires action now.

        Dr. Martin Prince of King’s College stated in his report on the future of long-term care for elderly that by 2050, 277 million people ages 60 and older will require specialized care, specifically those with dementia.  “Compared with other long-term care users, people with dementia have special needs.  They require more personal care, more hours of care, and more supervision, all of which is associated with greater strain on caregivers and higher costs.”

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        What Qualifies as “Neglect” in the Nursing Home Setting?

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Neglect” means a facility’s failure to provide, or willful withholding of:

        • adequate medical care
        • mental health treatment
        • psychiatric rehabilitation
        • personal care
        • assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid:
          • physical harm
          • mental anguish
          • mental illness of a resident

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        For Adult Children: 10 Tips on Helping Your Parent Handle Depression and Anxiety and How You Can Cope

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Caring for Aging Parents

        The senior generation grew up in a time when people did not discuss mental health.  Depression and anxiety carry a stigma that the elder population fears.  Unfortunately, depression and anxiety, among other mental sicknesses, is very common in nursing home residents.

        To cope with your loved one who is suffering from depression or anxiety, understand where your loved one is coming from and how you can respond in a way that will ease their pain.  Also recognize that your health should not fall to the wayside during this life change.

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