People who live in nursing homes are not prisoners. They are residents in their homes. It’s true that many are reluctant residents. A dislike of nursing homes and the uneasy self-assurance that we as individuals will never live in one is one of the few things that truly unites people across the spectrum of age, race, gender, and income bracket. Nursing home? Not for me, thanks.
Most people don’t even want to think about nursing homes for ourselves, for our parents, for our friends. The nursing home is the elephant in everyone’s room, and as a result the industry has grown into something like a“wild west.”
At the Brentwood North HC and Rehab Center in Riverwoods, Illinois, a recent inspection by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) uncovered a situation where multiple residents were essentially being imprisoned in a dementia wing.
Six residents were secured in a wing that required a keycode to unlock. The residents were described as confused, disoriented, and without any ability to unlock the door or leave the wing. It’s true that residents with dementia can have a tendency to wander. That’s old information. But it’s also true that there are ways to keep nursing home residents from wandering that doesn’t require locking them in their rooms.
Residents wander because they’re lonely, or they’re confused, or they’re bored, or their scared. All of these conditions can be treated without locked doors. Prior to admission, residents with dementia are supposed to be evaluated for history, background, interests, and other pertinent facts about their lives.
This information is supposed to be used to provide an environment that residents aren’t constantly trying to flee from. According to the IDPH report, these evaluations were never conducted.
Nursing homes were initially the creation of religious charities. Nursing homes and hospices were for people who were essentially without families. Times have changed. Most families don’t have the resources to take care of ill family members indefinitely. Medicaid is not sufficient to provide quality care as well as billions of dollars in profit to mammoth nursing home corporations.
As a result, many nursing home residents are treated like prisoners while bare-bones staff try to keep as many balls in the air as possible.
If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home neglect, contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we earn a recovery for you.