I received an e-mail with the same title that basically said convicted criminals receive more rights and protection than our elderly. Although overly exaggerated, the e-mail draws attention to the terrible care that many elders receive at these facilities.
According to the best available estimates, between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on
whom they depended for care or protection, states a study done by the National Center of Elder Abuse.
As staggering as that statistic is, it is most likely higher. In domestic settings, such as in-home care, the study suggests that only 1 in 14 incidents are even reported.
(This is the thought provoking email I actually received below)
Food for thought:
Let's put the seniors in jail, and the criminals in a nursing home.
This way, the criminals, now in a nursing home, would get cold food, be left all alone, and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. And be forced to pay upwards of $5000 a month for this abuse.
The seniors, now in a jail, would have access to showers, hobbies and walks, they'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc. and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance. Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes, and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counseling, pool, and education, simple clothing, shoes, slippers, P. J.'s and legal aid would be free, on request.
They would have private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens. Each senior could have a computer, t.v., radio, and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors, to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct, that would be strictly adhered to.
Anyone who has ever visited a detention facility would know that it is not as pleasant as this little tongue in cheek story seems to make it. But it does draw attention to the fact that there are certain principles and rights that prisoners have that our elderly don't receive.
In fact a Virginia Beach nursing home has been on a list of the worst long-term-care facilities in the country. Beacon Shores Nursing and Rehabilitation first landed on a list of poor-performing nursing homes in February of 2008 when it was tagged as a "special focus facility" by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The federal agency lists nursing homes that have chronic problems that continue even after facility officials are given the opportunity to make improvements.
Many nursing home patients are completely dependent on the care they receive from nurses, doctors, physical therapists and other hospital personnel. Those patients -- and their families -- need to trust that the health care providers will act in ways that keep patients as comfortable and as healthy as possible.
So what can you do to protect your loved ones?
Check Nursing Home Compare or a similar source for key quality measures such as infection control, pain treatment, depression, mobility, etc. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities that receive federal funds must comply with certain federal regulations and laws. These regulations and laws set out in detail the type and quality of care that residents in these facilities must receive.
If your loved one is already in a nursing home and you suspect neglect or abuse contact our medical malpractice attorneys. There are laws to protect you, but you must know your rights and act on them. The law requires nursing homes to promote and protect the rights of each resident and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity and self-determination.