Decades ago, it was all too common for nursing homes to give their patients sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs to calm them down or get them to go to sleep. In the days before very much was known about Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, these patients were given medications that are now known to have serious and potentially fatal consequences to people with these conditions.
One of the reasons many people feel a sense of relief when an elderly loved one moves into a nursing home or other long-term care facility is that they believe that they're safer there than in their own home. One of the dangers for older people who live alone is falling. Falls can be extremely serious for older people. Sometimes, they're even fatal.
If a loved one is in a nursing home or other long-term facility, you're likely relieved to see that there are bed rails on their bed. These rails, which are typically made out of metal, help keep people from rolling out of bed and suffering broken bones or other serious injuries. They can also be used to help people adjust their position, which can prevent discomfort and conditions like bedsores.
Older people are typically more likely to develop some common infections than younger ones. Their immune systems are often compromised. Moreover, these infections can become serious because seniors may write off symptoms as just more of the aches and pains they're used to. People with dementia may not be able to adequately communicate that they aren't feeling well.
In a perfect world, every nursing home across Kentucky would maintain a nurturing, comfortable environment for residents, but regrettably, this is far from the case. Instead, the quality of care many older adults receive in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is subpar, at best, and when the quality of care suffers, injuries, including falls, often rise.
For some families, the decision to put their loved one in a nursing home in Kentucky is one that is made altogether, weighing the best options of the individual and seeking a facility that will provide the highest quality of care. For other families, the need is immediate and they may not see as much value in spending considerable time comparing their options. However, experts highly recommend that people spend at least some time researching nursing homes in their area before selecting one for their loved one.
When people hear of the term "nursing home abuse," their thoughts are often immediately turned to cases of elderly patients being physically abused at the hands of a caregiver. However, nursing home abuse has many different facets including sexual abuse, emotional abuse and even financial abuse. While many families go to extensive efforts to arrange the highest quality of care for their elderly loved ones in Kentucky, it is imperative that they are aware of the signs of abuse so they can take action immediately upon recognizing a red flag.
When people hear stories about abuse happening at nursing home facilities in Kentucky, their minds often turn to physical assault or neglect. While these types of incidents do happen, elder abuse can take on many forms including misuse or exploitation of an elderly person's finances, neglectful care when medical attention is required and even sexual abuse. By law, facility supervisors are required to report any incidents of abuse to the appropriate authorities.
According to the Kentucky Office of Attorney General, there are approximately 23,000 elderly residents living in more than 300 nursing home facilities throughout the state of Kentucky. That number is exponentially greater throughout the entire U.S. Many residents who live in nursing home facilities receive compassionate and quality care, but unfortunately, "many" is not "all."
Nursing home residents in Kentucky are more likely to develop bedsores, or pressure ulcers, when they spend a great deal of time confined to a wheelchair or a bed. You may know that, if you have an elderly loved one with bedsores, it is important for them to receive proper medical treatment or they may develop a life-threatening infection. However, you may not be familiar with the staging of bedsores and how it affects treatment.