Some Illinois nursing homes create dangerous and unsafe environments by mixing seniors and younger mentally ill residents, the Chicago Tribune reports: "More than any other state, Illinois relies heavily on nursing homes to house mentally ill patients, including those who have committed crimes. But a Tribune investigation found that government, law enforcement and the industry have failed to adequately manage the resulting influx of younger residents who shuttle into nursing facilities from jail cells, shelters and psychiatric wards." Citing government records, the article reports that "mentally ill patients now constitute more than 15 percent of the state's total nursing home population of 92, 225, " and "the number of residents convicted of serious felonies has increased to 3, 000.
An 81-year-old San Francisco woman with dementia, little money and an equally aged caregiver sister who is suffering from cancer. A 72-year-old Riverside woman with Alzheimer's who cannot be left safely on her own, forcing her son to cut back his working hours to care for her. A 78-year-old Los Angeles man with Alzheimer's whose daughter will have to quit her job to take care of him if day care services are cut. These are some of the hundreds of thousands of low-income seniors who are likely to lose income - and some of the tens of thousands who will also lose some or all of the in-home and supportive care they rely on - as budget cuts resulting from California's 2009 fiscal crisis go into effect starting Oct.
Industry leaders say the nursing home industry could be at a tipping point. "The nation's nursing homes are perilously close to laying off workers, cutting services - possibly even closing - because of a perfect storm wallop from the recession and deep federal and state government spending cuts, industry experts say, " The Associated Press reports. "A Medicare rate adjustment that cuts an estimated $16 billion in nursing home funding over the next 10 years was enacted at week's end by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services." This move came in addition to state-level reductions or flat-funding "that already had the industry reeling.
Ten years of case studies at a pediatric hospital and a thorough literature review have shown that it is not uncommon for children to ingest small "button" batteries, either through swallowing or inserting the batteries into their noses. In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers revealed that a significant lack of knowledge about the dangers of button batteries exists in the lay population and in healthcare providers. Button batteries are miniature disc batteries that are typically used to power hearing aids, watches, calculators, and many commonly used items, including small toys and musical greeting cards.
American Society Of Anesthesiologists Offers Tips To Help Seniors And Their Caregivers Prepare For Surgery
As a growing number of the estimated 78 million Baby Boomers transition into their senior years, an increased focus is placed on the health of this important group of Americans. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 12 percent of the total U.S. population is over age 65 and, of that segment, more than half will undergo at least one surgical procedure as senior citizens. Research indicates that seniors are at an increased risk for experiencing complications both during and after surgery. In an effort to ensure that senior patients have the best possible outcome, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has developed a set of tips to help prepare senior citizens and their caregivers for surgery.
Seven out of 10 care home residents have been subjected to medication errors according to research to be published in Quality and Safety in Health Care. The study of 256 residents in 55 care homes found residents took on average eight medicines each and that an average of just under two mistakes were made for each resident. Errors included prescription, dosage, unwarranted drugs and dispensing. Contributory factors included inaccessible doctors, inadequate medicines training, poor team work between care homes, GP practices and the pharmacy and complicated administrative systems. 'It is very worrying to hear how prevalent errors in medication are in the care homes studied for this research.