Nursing home realities: demographics and other concerns

At some level, a good many of our readers across Los Angeles County and elsewhere in California likely worry a bit about nursing homes, when they think about them.

Perhaps some of them have a loved one in a nursing facility and wonder about staff sufficiency, care delivery, food quality, medication dispensing and related factors. Perhaps others wonder whether they themselves will ultimately end up in a nursing home someday, dependent on strangers for vitally important care.

This much is a certainty: Nursing homes in California and across the country will be stressed in upcoming years to a degree almost unascertainable presently, owing to population demographics in the United States.

Reportedly, there will be close to 90 million Americans who are at least 65 years of age by 2050. That mushrooming number will render it a certainty that increasingly more people will be bound for nursing facilities. As noted in a recent media article focusing on nursing home considerations and concerns, it is important now (and will of course be key in the future) “to ensure that residents are protected from abuse and neglect.”

Patently, the well-being of residents in nursing facilities across the country is far from universally ensured currently, with stories regarding care lapses and adverse outcomes routinely featuring in news accounts. Of course, there are exemplary homes where residents’ best interests are a constant focus of facility managers and employees. Tragically, though, there also exist industry outliers, that is, homes where substandard care delivery yields sadly predictable consequences.

Our next post will focus upon what the above-cited article identifies as a special concern for nursing home residents, namely, the arbitration clauses that many of them must sign as a prerequisite for home admission.

We’ll take a close look at that in Thursday’s post. We hope that readers find the topic interesting.