Elderly and Others Hit Hard by the Government Shutdown in Minnesota

“The two week long stand still of the Minnesota government is wrecking havoc in both the private and public sectors. Hardest hit of the thousands of businesses effected could be the state’s nursing home and elderly population. Elderly people are now getting notice that nursing home workers could be deemed nonessential which could cause the closure of state funding nursing homes. The elderly are being told that if the shutdown is extended, they could lose their health care benefits. Some 2 million government jobs could be at stake in the wake of the shutdown, including jobs at nursing homes that house the elderly. If the doors of nursing homes close, other nursing homes and hospitals may become over crowded, or there may be no where to go for certain seniors who will be at a complete loss without their health care benefits.

Many nurses and RNs are set to get their walking papers. Notice of lay-offs will be sent out mid-June to registered nurses. Nearly 800 hospital nurses are expecting to be sent the lay-off notices this month. A shortage of nurses, and the inability of new nurses to obtain their licenses could cause a health care crisis in the state.

A hot line for the elderly that assists them in any type of emergency or non emergency situation is now out of order. Simple staples that people have come to rely upon are no longer being manned by state employees and all nonessential workers of the state government are now wondering how they will support their own families.

The $5 billion deficit the state faces is the culprit that has caused the major shutdown. Lawmakers are at a standstill at how best to appropriate funding and taxes in order to correct the current budget pitfalls. This problem is effecting millions of people in Minnesota from the elderly, to businesses, to the state funded parks and everywhere in between. The problem is likely to grow if some kind of resolve is not reached between the current governor and the legislature. If the state continues it’s downward spiral, many more services will be termed non-essential and people will be at a loss in just about every corner of the state.”

Additional information at:

MN Shutdown Pain Likely Greatest At Nursing Homes

Minnesota braces for a government shutdown

Minnesota government shutdown looms

Minnesota Government Shutdown: Summary of Judge Gearin’s June 29 Order

Nursing Home Costs: How to Pay

Nursing homes provide intensive, 24/7 skilled nursing care and medical support. Those costs add up quickly, right? Few people have a limitless pot of gold at their disposal, so how might you best prepare to pay for nursing home expenses, whether it’s for your own care or the care of your loved ones?

Nursing Home Costs

Expected Costs

Before you begin planning a strategy for paying for nursing home services, you first need to know about how much these services might cost and for how long you might need to support cost of care.

Monthly nursing home costs can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars a month to many thousands. Geographic location, cost of living, level of care needed, and nursing home quality all figure prominently in the bottom line.

Facts:

The average nursing home will cost $67,000 per year, give or take.*

Most people stay an average 2.5 years in a nursing home.**

Payment Options

Consider the possible options for paying the nursing home bill. Here are the most common solutions people assume they have available to them. Unfortunately, unless you’ve planned ahead, few of these are going to offer the magic bullet:

  • Long-term care insurance, provided you have taken out a policy, early enough, can certainly help. Consider it well before long-term care or nursing home expenses are needed. You’ll see the ads on late night TV. Problem is most people don’t plan for this type of personal insurance plan since the best strategy is to take out coverage well before you need this type of “later life” or elder care. Learn everything you can about long-term care plans before you purchase.
  • Veteran’s benefits apply if the patient is a veteran. State VA benefits are complicated by many eligibility requirements including income, disability or medical condition, and other factors, so contact your state Veteran’s Administration directly. However, it’s fair to consider the fact that even if you are eligible for some VA money, it may still not cover all the monthly cost for a nursing home–considering that most nursing homes cost an average of $5,580 per month (based on the annual figure above). VA nursing homes and long term care facilities exist, but again, have stiff eligibility requirements you must consider well in advance.
  • Medicare. One of the biggest mistakes made in planning for long-term care is the assumption that Medicare will cover these costs. To qualify for Medicare coverage you need to come to a nursing home directly from a hospital stay and coverage is limited. Visit Medicare.gov to learn more.
  • Medicaid coverage is available to people with outstanding financial problems and low income. In some of these cases here is a viable solution for helping pay the nursing home bill. But these funds may be very limited, affecting your ability to choose a quality nursing home.
  • Personal funds are one of the most common ways in which people pay their nursing home bills. This is why many patients lose their homes and livelihoods—to pay for costs for care.

Best advice: Consult a lawyer specialized in long-term nursing home care. He or she can help advise you on your legal rights as well as give you financial guidance and advice. There may also be valuable tax tips that can help you recoup some of your care expenses.

* USAToday.com, Fewer Seniors Live in Nursing Homes, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/census/2007-09-27-nursing-homes_N.htm

** U.S. Census Bureau, Top Ten Considerations When Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance, http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/benefits/topten.html

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes: What’s the Difference?

Not long ago seniors and the elderly, if unable to remain living at home, would have to “retire” to a nursing home. Everyone from the very vital and alert to the very infirm or ill might be living in close quarters. In recent years, nursing homes in general have earned a bad reputation. Many—not all– have struggled financially and made poor hiring decisions.

Assisted Living

As Americans live longer and more vital lives, the need for alternative living situations has grown. Assisted living residences and communities are one very popular alternative to nursing homes. What features make them so different?

Chronic vs. Long-Term “Assisted” Care

People with chronic and serious health conditions, confined to bed, and requiring intensive nursing care may receive this care in a nursing home. Assisted living serves the needs of people with health and living challenges, but nothing chronic or intensive. For example, they may have early stage Alzheimer’s, or need help monitoring their medication and health care, help preparing meals, transportation to the grocery story, among other things. This is sometimes called, long-term assisted care.

Nursing homes support intensive, round-the-clock nursing care. Assisted living provides nursing care, but it is non-intensive and typically not round-the-clock. This is not say that residents in an assisted living community are not supported 24/7…many of these establishments have built-in monitoring systems where residents can call for emergency help and assistance as soon as it’s needed and onsite nurses and emergency response personnel will respond.

Assisted Living Lifestyle: Independent Senior Living

Assisted living environments have become popular and sensible alternatives to nursing homes and now enable millions of older Americans to continue semi-independent living within a supervised community. Some assisted living communities allow residents to live in their own “homes” or apartments, drive and come and go at their leisure, and otherwise conduct their lives as normally as possible.

Assisted living communities usually have a wide variety of services and activities available to residents, including:

  • Community dining/meal options
  • Onsite health clinics where outside doctors and specialists regularly see patients
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Housekeeping/maid services
  • Transportation options on and offsite
  • Events planning
  • Exercise and wellness programs
  • Clubs and community groups
  • Community gatherings
  • Family support services

To make an assisted living community “tick,” most employ a wide range of professionals: nursing administrators, nurse practitioners, accountants and business executives, exercise and wellness specialists, physical and occupational therapists, chefs, nutritionists, and groundskeepers.

Nursing Homes Improve

We’ve seen the videos on the evening news showcasing nursing home employees abusing and ignoring patients. We’ve heard the financial bad news that many nursing homes are going bankrupt. Yes, many are struggling to find a place in today’s health care environment. But it’s important to remember that not all are bad places to put loved ones and many are carving out new niches for themselves.

One improvement many are turning to is renovating and adding additional services. Physical therapy and occupational therapy services are adding big value to nursing homes. Services like these serve to rehabilitate patients, with the ultimate goal to move them out of nursing homes, quicker. In the end, facility expenses are lowered while patient satisfaction and quality of life is heightened.

The Growing Problem Of Nursing Home Abuse

There is certainly a growing problem of nursing home abuse. In fact, the majority of cases that are reported are those that related to neglect and common signs of such abuse are those of bed sores and improper and unclean sanitation. There are many other types that can occur and the simple fact is that such form of abuse has become quite common. The sad part is that for each case that is reported another five go unreported which shows the seriousness of this problem.

nursing home abuse

There are different kinds of nursing home abuse cases and one kind is that of physical abuse. There are many times when the staff and employees of a nursing home actually heap physical abuse on the patient. This abuse can take the form of hitting the patient, slapping them, kicking them and causing other kinds of physical harm to the patient.

The patient can also be harmed in a sexual manner. In this case the staff and/or employees can take advantage of the weak state of the patient and subject them to unwanted sexual activities that are performed without the consent of the patient.

Punishing a patient at a nursing home is another common form of mistreatment that is heaped on the patient. There are many employees and staff members at these facilities that punish the patient in a harsh manner and common examples of such harshness include isolating the person or subjecting them to restraints that are very painful.

People that are entrusted to such facilities can also be abused in an emotional manner. This can take the form of insults and threats as well as anything that frightens the resident. It can also mean depriving the resident of their personal belongings and this is mistreatment that can emotionally and psychologically upset the resident and put them through undue stress.

Neglecting the resident is a very common form of mistreatment. This kind of mistreatment involves not cleaning the residents living quarters and failing to maintain their personal hygienic condition. It also involves failure to dispense their medication and it can even result in depriving the patient of their food as well as water.

In case it is found that a resident is the subject of nursing home abuse, it is important that such cases are reported to a competent authority. Such mistreatment is nothing but an atrocity that must not only be condemned but action must also be taken against the perpetrators. Physical and mental mistreatment is reprehensible and must be reported.

The first step in this regard is to look for signs of nursing home ill treatment. If the patient shows signs of being injured without justification then it shows that they have been abused and mistreated. Next, observe the way that the nursing home takes care of the patient. If mistreatment is taking place, be sure to file an official complaint with the nursing homes administrator.

Finally, be sure to hire the services of a lawyer that actually specializes in such cases. He is the best person to take the claim forward to its logical conclusion.

Find out more, visit: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

Detecting Nursing Home Injury And What To Do About It

Nursing home injury can occur to anyone on account of negligence and abuse from caretakers at nursing homes that are incompetent. As an individual, you tend to trust that the fact that faculty and staff at a nursing home will take good care of your near and dear ones.

nursing home injury

You expect that the staff at the nursing home will take proper care and will show respect to the people who are admitted to a nursing home. However, this is not always the case and so to be on the safe side it is important to become familiar with how to recognize a nursing home injury.

There are several different kinds of nursing home injury to look out for. One of the most common ones is that of abrupt weight loss. This kind of injury occurs when the staff entrusted with taking care of a patient neglects to feed and properly hydrate the patient regularly.

This in turn will result in signs of malnutrition. You should therefore be on the lookout for signs such as hollowed cheeks and gauntness of appearance and ill fitting clothes. The patient may also start to sleep more than is normal and this occurs because they do not have sufficient energy.

Another common nursing home injury, bruising on the body for which there is no explanation can show that the staff has not being assisting the patient in walking or standing or moving. If an aged patient is not able to walk properly or move freely then this is a warning sign. A neglected patient will have certain injuries and/or bruises on their body for no apparent reason other than having fallen or stumbled or bumped into objects. Nursing staff can cause these kinds of injuries because they failed to take note of the medical condition of the patient and did not deal with the patient in a kind and caring manner.

Another sign that you should watch out for is that of emotional neglect. Nursing care professionals at the facility must go out of their way to make the patient feel at home and comfortable. If they neglect their duties in this regard, they will transform the patients behavior which will become quiet and also sullen showing that they have suffered from emotional related injuries that are brought on by neglect.

Similarly, patients can also show signs of being neglected physically because they have not been assisted by the staff in regard to their bathing and dressing and grooming. If the patient appears to be disheveled and looks dirty as well as unkempt then you know that they are a victim of nursing home injury. Bed sores are also another sign to look out for.

In regard to taking action against the nursing home for causing nursing home injury, one option that is open to you is that of filing a claim against the facility. You will be well advised, in such an instance to think about hiring a nursing home injury lawyer who can take care of the claims on your behalf.

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