Guest Blogger: Bayou Creole on A New Nursing Home Trend

The hands of an elderly resident at a nursing home (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

The hands of an elderly resident at a nursing home (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

New Nursing Home Trend

Many moons ago, the only people  living in nursing homes were the elderly.  If your parents or grandparents needed 24 hour care, you could put them in a home where there would be nurses and aids there 24-7  to assist them. But, there’s a new trend going on( here in Louisiana for sure).

Facilities that previously only had elderly people are now getting young folks,folks in their 20′s-50′s…way too young to be in a facility with the elderly.Not only that, a lot of these young people have mental health problemsor drugs and alcohol problems. Some of the young people who end up in these facilities are helpful to the elderly. But a lot of times, they intimidate the elderly to the point where the elderly are afraid to say anything against them. Then, there’s the abuse and the situation of having young, sexual men in a place with females who are either elderly or mentally challenged. I received a phone call today informing me that an elderly female in one such facility was raped by a male living there. That’s a hard pill for a family member to handle. You think you’re doing the right thing by your loved one, putting her somewhere medical care is available, meals are being served, she can no longer wander out of the home so, she’s supposedly safe. Then, you get a call saying someone raped her there.

The nursing game has changed. It’s sad but, it’s true. I’ve heard horror stories over and over again. I’ve witnessed horror stories too. Since there aren’t any place for the mentally ill to go anymore, it seems the new trend is to put them into nursing facilities. But what happens to the poor elderly people who have to be there… with a paranoid schizophrenic, who refuses to take his medication? Who’s  really protecting them? Folks call the state all the time and nothing ever changes.

If anyone is thinking about putting their loved one in a nursing care facility, do your research first. Don’t believe what they tell you. Visit there at different hours of the day. Walk every single hall in the facility. Take note of the mental capacity and age of everyone you see, employees included. Let your senses be your guide. What do you see, hear,smell? Hang around for lunch and order a plate, how does it taste? Do you see residents wandering around aimlessly or are they engaged in activities? What is the work environment like? Happy employees take better care of people. Visit as many places as humanly possible before making a decision about where you’ll put your loved one because, the game has changed.Healthcare has changed… and the elderly are suffering because of it.
I’m a registered nurse born,raised and living in the fabulous city of New Orleans. I’m married to a man who’s way too good for me and have two kids who keep me young and zany. My passions are for all things NOLA, Elder Rights and Animal Rights.
This piece was previously published on Bayou Creole’s blog of the same name.

2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Bayou Creole on A New Nursing Home Trend

  1. What you describe in your blog is a problem. But there is a much better solution than visiting and experiencing the nursing home environment. And that is home and community based services (HCBS) for the elderly and those with disabilities where services are provided in their home or that of a family member. HCBS is much less expensive than public nursing homes and competetive with private nursing homes. But more importantly it has proven to be more beneficial to the elder or person with a disability simply because they are happier, more comfortable, and therefore more likely to thrive living in the comfort of their home or that of a family member. Much research has been conducted and proven to be more effective and cost efficient. We just need to get our state leaders to realize this and take the necessary actions to transition from an archaic, unsafe, and costly system to a more natural, effective and efficient system of HCBS and stop catering to the needs and desires of businesses instead of our citizens.

  2. @ Kathy, I agree wholeheartedly. When I was a LPN, I worked as an agency nurse for about 10 years. I can say that, I’ve been in just about every nursing home within the greater New Orleans area (private pay included). Even in the private pay sector, the care is less than to be desired. I know of one private pay home who recently received 3 IJ (immediate jeopardy) tags. These are the worst tags to get. It’s a racket. The nursing home addressed the tags, paid the fines and continued on their merry way.

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