A recent study from the journal Obesity investigated whether being obese at some point in middle age made a person more likely to require long term care later in life. They concluded that an increased Body Mass Index (BMI) during middle age led to an increase in the likelihood of nursing home admission.
As a Chicago nursing home lawyer, I’m often asked by friends and acquaintances about the ways to avoid falling victim to nursing home abuse and neglect. I am not trying to be glib when I say that the best way to avoid nursing home neglect is to not be placed in a nursing home.
All of the 8, 804 participants in the study were members of a single medical group that began performing an automated health screening survey on members in 1964 and continued until 1973. All of the participants were in their late 40s and 50s. The information gathered during these visits was used and stored with the intention of identifying best practices in health care at the time. BMI was included in the information collected.
Scientists used followup information to determine the rate at which people with higher BMI were admitted to nursing homes. The results showed that being obese in middle age led to a statistically significant increase in the chance of being admitted into a nursing home.
The data are not all bad news for those of us who enjoy a snack. While being obese led to an increase in nursing home placement, merely being overweight did not.
As a nursing home lawyer, I’ve met with many nursing home residents and their families. I don’t have hard statistics at hand, but I know that being an obese nursing home resident puts one in much greater danger of being the victim of nursing home neglect.
Heavy people frequently require mechanical devices to help move them from from wheelchair to bed and shower. Often these devices require multiple trained people to properly operate them. Frequently, however, the nursing home staff manning these devices are undertrained and shorthanded, and fail to exercise the proper precautions. Nursing home falls frequently result from such neglect.
If you have a loved one who you feel is the victim of nursing home neglect, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.