Make sure you do your research before putting your loved one in a nursing home

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Nursing home

Nobody wants to put their loved one in a nursing home but sometimes it is necessary.  Even though there are plenty of licensed nursing homes in Florida, not all of them provide the same level of care.  Larry Greenberg of Land O’Lakes had to make the decision to put his wife in Consulate Health Care of Bayonet Point in Pasco County after she had a hip replacement.  She was only supposed to be there for rehabilitation.   According to Mr. Greenberg, the nursing home took his wife and ruined her.  He is now suing the nursing home for negligence.  He claims the nursing staff at the facility often was delayed when she asked for assistance going to the restroom. One time when she tried to go to the bathroom by herself, she fell and broke her leg. From there, she went downhill and eventually died. While the medical examiner originally listed her cause of death as heart failure, her death certificate was eventually amended by the medical examiner to blunt trauma, as a result of ground level falls.

This free, Medicare-operated website Nursing Home Compare, allows people to check out nursing homes before putting a loved one there. Learn more by following this link: http://1.usa.gov/1CHwbuM It tracks data like staffing levels, where Consulate of Bayonet Point ranks “below average” because the nursing staff hours per-resident per-day measurement there is about 25 percent below state and national averages.  You can also find inspection reports, like one from six months after Judy’s fall, where Consulate at Bayonet Point was cited for failing to follow a fall prevention plan for multiple patients.

Since February, Nursing Home Compare has tracked the number of long-term patients who receive antipsychotic medication, which are drugs like Abilify, Seroquel and other medications intended to treat serious mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Those drugs are not approved for treatment of elderly dementia patients and even carry an FDA Black Box Warning, saying they can increase the risk of death.  A 2014 report from the Department of Health and Human Services says 83 percent of nursing home patients nationwide who were given the drugs don’t have a condition for which it has been approved. Instead, it says facilities used them as “chemical restraints” to control behaviors like wandering, crying or resisting care.

Make sure you do the necessary research before you put your loved one in a nursing home.  You can use the link above and also you can also click here: http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/LandingPages/NursingHomeGuide.aspx for Florida Nursing Homes.

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