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Articles Tagged with Nursing Homes

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A systematic review conducted by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry concluded that older adults living in long-term care facilities are at a higher risk of anxiety disorders than adults living in the community at large. It was estimated that anywhere from 3.2 percent to 20 percent of individuals in long-term care settings suffer from anxiety, compared with 1.4 percent to 17 percent living in the general community.

If you currently have a loved one living in a nursing home or other skilled facility, these statistics can be alarming. Fortunately, there are effective medications on the market that, when combined with therapy or other psychological support, can have profound effects for those suffering.

In order to treat anxiety, it is first necessary to identify the symptoms. Recognizing anxiety in older adults at times can be difficult, as some symptoms, such as avoidance, may be misconstrued as declining health or limited mobility. Other health complications, such as memory loss or an inability to speak clearly, may make it difficult for individuals to verbalize symptoms. However, knowing what to look for can help.

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At Jehl Law Group, it is not uncommon for us to hear a client mention how his or her loved one is underweight, is not properly fed and is enduring the effects of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes. Sadly, our clients are not alone.

According to a study supported by The Commonwealth Fund, nearly one third of all 1.6 million nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Moreover, it was found that roughly 85% of nursing home residents are malnourished, and 30% to 50% are underweight.

To suggest malnutrition and dehydration are minor problems is an understatement. One of the best ways to recognize malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes is to know the signs and make dietary changes accordingly.

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A 2016 Harvard University study found that nursing homes across America have been changing ownership at an alarming rate. On average, 1,500 nursing facilities were sold to a different corporation per year between 1993 and 2010. While change of ownership is not believed to directly cause turmoil and poor care, the study concluded that many nursing homes that already have a history of deficiencies and violations are more likely to be sold and rebranded.

David Grabowski, lead researcher and health care policy professor at Harvard Medical School, pointed out that nursing homes with a history of consistent, uniform ownership typically have fewer citations from inspectors, unlike their lower-quality counterparts, which more often have mergers, acquisitions or changes of ownership on their record.

More often than not, corporate chains are involved in the acquisition of failing health care facilities.

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Early in the history of this nation, disputes were often resolved in barbaric fashion.  An individual might challenge someone who had grieved him to a duel which could occasionally result in injury or death. In 1804, the Vice President of the United States killed Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in one of these duels after accusing him of slander. But when the Founders drafted the Constitution, they incorporated an essential doctrine of law that would provide a more civilized and fair way of settling such complaints. That method was the jury trial, and every Americans’ right to a trial is enshrined in the Seventh Amendment of United States Constitution. But today that right is being threatened by manipulative practices of corporations who want to play by different rules.

Arbitration agreements are everywhere. You can find them in credit card agreements, insurance policies, or those dreaded privacy policies that pop up when you install software. But one place you may not expect to see them is in admissions paperwork for a nursing home or assisted living facility. These documents typically take the form of a several pages but may be as small as a clause or line in a contract. No matter their size, they can have a profound impact on your ability to seek legal recourse when you have been wronged.

Corporations tend to favor arbitration because it essentially allows them to opt out of the legal system. When they are negligent and cause injury or death, they are not required to answer to a judge or jury in a courtroom. Instead, they are allowed to make their case in front of an arbitrator who often provides results which are much friendlier to corporate parties.