Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ahhhhhhhh Nursing Home Corporations

In order to be competitive, nursing homes offering a Culture Change environment, will find the list for people who actually want to live there will be long. Most people will flock to a facility that resembles their home, not some hospital.
It’s true, it will be hard for the elderly to maybe have to move, but moving to a nursing home that treats them right is a plus, not a bust. Certainly I have seen nursing homes forcing residents move anyway, for the nursing home’s convenience, so it is not as if residents have not been forced to move before, it is just that, maybe now, the moves will be for the better, for the improvement of their welfare and not at the whim of nursing home staff.
Elder care has become increasingly more competitive, like any other business. Baby Boomers are not willing, like the generation before them that was willing to simply conform and settle for rules and regulations of the ancient facilities. It’s time for a change and perhaps Medicare will be the catalyst to usher in some of the new changes.
While working in a nursing home I already knew the MDS, the instrument nursing homes and Medicare use to be able to justify the Medicare reimbursement money, has been redesigned to supposedly implement big changes. The changes are to, hopefully, make the MDS less generalized, sort of one size fits all mentally, to reflect much more individuality for each resident.
This is supposed to reflect a single resident’s personal challenges and needs much more than generic criteria that have been used, in my opinion, far too long to deliver good services to our nation’s elderly population.
Maybe the new Medicare cut backs will eventually help keep more nursing homes honest.
For far too long many facilities have, in my opinion, used Medicare to cheat the federal government out of tax monies, simply because the nursing home was able to slap a nursing home sign on their doors. Maybe this will also force facilities to have to train their nurse aides better to be able to deliver better services, since nurse aides have always been the primary care givers there. It is a popular belief, in traditional nursing homes, that treating people like humans with rights and with dignity, must be more expensive, not true.
If money were the only answer, then residents in a nursing home would be treated like kings and queens and be living in a palace. I have seen the money Medicare and residents pump into nursing homes, money that lines the pockets of a CEO or a COO and buys corporate mansions complete with swimming pools and expensive vacations. I have seen it even buying huge meeting halls and fabulous buildings called corporate offices. But I have not seen it buying a wonderful final chapter in the lives of the older people who have made the corporate head’s life wonderful.

Are the corporate heads the only ones entitled to a nice life, a life provided for them by riding the backs of older American’s miseries?
I have also seen the big money that buys the heads of pharmaceutical companies the same luxuries. It's not uncommon for a pharmacy charging older people, especially in a nursing home, $100 per pill simply because it is in the pharmacy’s best interest to prolong a life that pays $100 per pill and residents are forced to use the in-house pharmacy.
These are older people, who as a captive audience, have to sign agreements to buy medicine, while in the nursing home, from the company pharmacy because it is simply their policy under the guise that it is for the old person’s own good to do so, or that a corporation has their best interest at heart.
Traditional nursing homes are places where misery and despair come home to roost like chickens in early evening on a farm. People go to war these days and are called heroes, yet once they too are old, all of that will be forgotten until a few shovels of dirt cover their coffins and if they are lucky, when old, they will be able to live life out in their own homes, but probably not.
I look around a traditional nursing home and I see an old man slumped in a chair, a man whose parents probably once loved him and nurtured him.  A man who probably loved his children and nurtured them, who now needs some assistance with everyday tasks that we, in our younger years, take for granted.