Nursing Home Residents Gain New Protections

The nursing home industry is vast.  With over 15,600 facilities all over the US this article asks the question “if you had to give the nation’s nursing homes a letter grade for quality, what would it be?” From a B- to no grade the nursing home industry has a lot to work on for its 1.4 million residents.  The letter grade has a chance to come up with new regulations set last fall.  

Some of those regulations are:

  • The regulations strengthen residents’ control over certain decisions important to their daily lives. For example, the rules allow people to receive any visitor they choose (not just relatives) whenever they choose, without restricted hours, as long as visitors don’t disturb other residents.
  • For the first time, nursing homes must take “reasonable care” of residents’ personal belongings and can’t shrug off responsibility for theft or loss by requiring residents to sign waivers. “That’s been a big complaint,” Ms. Grant said.
  • The regulations call for expanded staff training in preventing elder abuse and in caring for patients with dementia. Dr. Phillips calls the latter critically important; most residents have moderate or severe dementia, Medicare statistics show. The rule also requires a nursing home to designate an infection-control officer and to establish a system to monitor antibiotic use.
  • Long-term-care ombudsmen report frequent complaints of “dumping”: A nursing home sends a resident, often someone whose dementia causes problematic behavior, to a hospital. Then, after she is discharged, the home won’t readmit her. “Once they’re out the door, it’s a lot easier to just evict someone,” Ms. Grant said.

Follow this link to learn how this will be rolled out and how it can help the nursing home residents.  


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