Articles Posted in Elder Caregivers

alzheimers awareness month

Learn About Alzheimer’s Disease and Assisted Living Centers

The month of June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of the aging process and for the estimated 5.8 million Americans who have been diagnosed with the debilitating memory and behavior illness – life is not easy. As these people with one of the most common types of dementia grow older, 75 percent will become entirely dependent on someone else to care for them. Much of the time, this support will be found in a facility where residents are easily ignored, abused, neglected, or tragically lost in a wandering or elopement incident.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports there are close to 2 million cases of elder abuse incidences each year for dementia residents living in community settings such as assisted living centers, homes that operate much different than federal and state regulated nursing facilities. There are 291 assisted living centers identified by the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) that provide care to those with Alzheimer’s or dementia in Illinois. Two of these facilities are Brookdale Senior Living Centers located at Brookdale Orland Park and Brookdale Urbana. Brookdale is one of the largest owners and operators of senior living facilities in the U.S. Owners of these types of large, financially driven organizations are often found guilty of putting profits over resident and patient care. Brookdale’s presence in Illinois is significant, as it was the focus of a 2018 New York Times feature on assisted living facilities and dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

nursing home attorneys

Lawmakers Look to Position Older Americans Act into a Greater Enlightenment Phase

In 2017, the Older Americans Act (OAA) served more than 700,000 caregivers; and provided seniors across the country with 358 million meals. These services hit only the tip of how the law has improved the lives of seniors. OAA is also a federal policy that invests back to help older individuals age in place or at home and out of nursing homes and hospitals through low-cost, community-based services.

On Wednesday, May 8th the Senate Aging Committee held a hearing to highlight the importance of the OAA led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee in hopes to rally a bipartisan coalition for OAA’s reauthorization prior to it expiring on September 30.

nursing home abuse attorneys

The Time Is Now to Advocate for Older Adults

Any day is better than the last for advocating for the elderly as data from Adult Protective Services (APS) shows more than 5,000,000 elders are abused each year, including 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60. The abuse and neglect can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual and financial, and not always obvious.

Like every other year, during the month of May, the Administration for Community Living, an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. For this year the theme is, Connect, Create, Contribute and aimed to encourage older adults and their communities, including advocates, to:

nursing home patients

Majority of Nursing Home Residents Spend Their Time Inactive, Increasing Chances for Chronic Diseases and Injuries

Too many individuals who reside in nursing home facilities are spending their days – sitting. A typical daily schedule for residents will only include light to moderate intensity activities 20 percent of the time and they will remain sedentary the other 80 percent, according to a February 16, 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. An extremely sedentary lifestyle, especially for those who are already battling health issues, only creates a stronger connection to the development or progression of chronic diseases and disabling conditions such as:

  • Anxiety

nursing home staffing issues

New Research Points to Music as Easy Form of Resident Therapy

Nursing home staff who make the time and administrators who devote the resources to helping residents recover from an injury or deal with an illness through something as simple as listening to music are on the right track says researchers at John Hopkins University. Leaders at one of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals have started music therapy sessions focused on the unique therapy needs of patients. After several months, staff evaluated the music routines and observed nursing home residents with debilitating memory diseases like Alzheimer’s associate certain music patterns as a cue to perform daily activities such as getting out of bed, eating, and even showering. These are all acts the residents were not able to perform previous to the music therapy.

The music playlists are designed to minimize distraction and increase productivity and played to balance the mind. Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests listening to music does the same thing for a brain as going to the gym does for a body and that listening to music can reduce pain, anxiety, and blood pressure as well as improve mood, ease tension, and increase memory. The movement to music also helps with coordination and increases relaxation.

nursing home abuse attorneys

Illinois Lawmaker Says Families Should Be Able to Observe Nursing Home Care Provided to Loved Ones with Dementia Through Video Monitoring

Senate Bill 109, a plan sponsored by Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), passed the state’s Senate in late March in response to multiple complaints received by the Illinois Department of Public Health about abuse, neglect and theft against nursing home residents. The bill was designed to help families of individuals battling dementia and would allow the installation of video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room to deter or detect signs of abuse and neglect. The legislation language specifically speaks to the use of electronic monitoring in patient rooms in a building or care area solely dedicated to dementia residents.

The bill is now on the way to the Illinois House for further debate. It supports a 2015 law that allowed for video and audio monitoring equipment in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities or those living in long-term care facilities.

choosing a nursing home

Family Members Should Be Attending Resident Council Meetings with These 10 Questions

Nursing home administrators should allow for regular resident council or family council meetings. If they do not, it may be a sign that those residing in the facility may not be receiving the attention needed and care standards are not being met, triggering a higher risk of abuse and neglect. It’s the suggestion of the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti to request information about the dates and times of resident council or family council meetings and plan to attend. These councils are usually organized and managed by the residents or other residents’ families to address concerns and improve the quality of care and life for all residents.

If you’re able to attend a meeting with your loved one or on behalf of them, ask a council member whether it be another resident, care staff or administrator the following 10 questions and take notes:

A joint study by researchers from The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, John H. Stroger Hospital, The Social Policy Research Institute and Illinois Citizens for Better Care has found that the type of facility matters when it comes to the quality of care your elderly loved one is receiving.

Chicago Hospital Records Show Elder Neglect Happening in Nursing Homes

The study ‘Association between Type of Residence and Clinical Signs of Neglect in Older Adults,’ examined 5 metropolitan Chicago-area hospital records of 1,149 elderly patients admitted from long term care settings (nursing homes) and community settings (home, assisted living, or senior living facilities). The data revealed that for-profit nursing homes had more instances of clinical neglect than any other setting. The facilities responsible for the transfer of these residents to nursing homes were all metropolitan Chicago nursing homes.

We’d like to share some upcoming Alzheimer’s Association events and activities that are specifically intended for caregivers of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

All conferences and events listed below are located in the Chicago-area or other Illinois city and are hosted by the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

  1.  The Savvy Caregiver: A 2 hour per week, 6 week FREE course designed to give confidence and knowledge to those taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia. Upcoming courses take place in Rockford, Bloomington, Joliet, Eureka, Crystal Lake, and Peoria. For more information or to register, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Illinois Chapter website here. 

New York Times’ Your Money columnist Ron Lieber recently gave his review of 4 books that he says his readers recommended in the wake of news that Medicaid might be drastically reduced.

The books, “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande, “The 36 Hour Day” by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins, “A Bittersweet Season” by Jane Gross, and “Being My Mom’s Mom” by Loretta Anne Woodward Veney all give honest accounts of the heartache, exhaustion, gut-wrenching emotional and financial decisions, and feelings of inadequacy that come with caring for a loved one in their final years.

Click here to read Ron Lieber’s reviews.

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