OBESITY IN NURSING HOMES IS A GROWING CONCERN
Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 12:16 am
Nursing home facilities are unprepared for the number of obese patients entering facilities throughout the United States. The average nursing home patient weighs more than in previous decades and that trend is expected to continue. Some nursing home facilities are turning obese patients away giving rise to potential lawsuits for violations of the federal anti-discrimination laws.
A news report by Kaiser Health News details the severity of this problem. Obese residents are not only difficult in terms of their weight. Obesity often results in other medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Morbidly obese patients may not be able to turn themselves in bed or get out of bed creating the potential for bedsores and infections. Nursing homes and staff members are not equipped nor trained to deal with the added issues related to obese patients. Further complicating the matter is that Medicare does not pay additional funds for the treatment of obese patients in nursing homes. This leaves nursing homes to deal with the problem.
For an obese patient, the nursing home must have larger wheelchairs, bedside toilets, chairs in the shower, motorized lifts, larger blood pressure cuffs, and longer intramuscular needles. All of this costs more money for the nursing home; therefore, they raise their prices to cover obese patients. The lack of equipment and the higher prices makes places obese patients more difficult. Sometimes it requires the patient to be placed in a facility that is further away from family and friends.
Nursing Home Abuse and Obese Patients
The chance of abuse of obese patients increases because family and friends may not be as close to the facility to keep an eye on their loved one. In addition, staff members do not want to take the extra time and care needed to assist obese patients with their personal care needs. Additional training and staff are needed to ensure that obese patients are provided the care they need and that abuse is prevented in nursing homes.
If you have a loved one that is obese and in a nursing home, check on your loved one on a regular basis to ensure he or she is receiving proper care. Question the nursing home about special procedures and practices that are in place for obese residents to ensure they are taken care of and that abuse is unlikely.
Do You Need a California Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
If you believe that your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, you have rights. Our law firm can file a nursing home lawsuit to hold the facility and accountable for the abuse.
Contact Tiemann Law Firm for a free case evaluation. Call our toll free number at (916) 999-9000 or chat with a representative on our website. Regardless of your loved one’s health condition, he or she deserves the same level of care in a nursing home as any other patient.