Articles Posted in YouNameIt

A recent analysis reveals that the largest for-profit facilities maintain staffing levels nearly one-third lower than non-profit and government-owned nursing homes, resulting in a significantly lower quality of care.

The study, led by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), looked at the relationship between staffing and quality of care at the ten largest for-profit nursing home chains.

“Poor quality of care is endemic in many nursing homes, but we found that the most serious problems occur in the largest for-profit chains”, said lead author Charlene Harrington, RN, PhD, professor emeritus of sociology and nursing at the UCSF School of Nursing. “The Top ten chains have a strategy of keeping labor costs low to increase profits. They are not making quality a priority”.

Although the top chains had the sickest residents, their total nursing hours were 30 percent lower than non-profit and government nursing homes, the UCSF study found. Moreover, the major chains were well below the national average for registered nurse and total nurse staffing, and below the minimum nurse staffing recommended by experts.

According to the study, the ten largest for-profit chains were cited for 36 percent more deficiencies and 41 percent more serious deficiencies than the best facilities. Deficiencies include failure to prevent pressure sores, resident weight loss, falls, infections, resident mistreatment, poor sanitary conditions and other problems that could seriously harm residents.
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In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Daily Money Management Services Keep Seniors Independent, the availability of a personal service to handle paying bills, balancing the checkbook, filing insurance claims and other money management matters is reported on.

Amie Hyman, owner of Heartfelt Solutions for Seniors, Inc. in Willow Springs, addresses the issue and explains how times have changed from when senior citizens were able to rely on relatives who lived close by and senior citizens had uncomplicated money management issues. “This service is very much in demand, as the younger generation does not always live in the same area as their parents”, states Ms. Hyman. “It becomes overwhelming when the junk mail, doctor bills and Medicare statements start to pile up. They can forget to pay a bill or they are late and incur fees”.

Some of the services provided to seniors include setting up automatic withdrawals from bank accounts to pay bills, writing checks, managing bank deposits, transferring funds among accounts, negotiating with creditors and dealing with medical insurance providers

Andrea Donovan of Senior Living Advisors in Riverside, Illinois was recently quoted in a Chicago Tribune article about retirement communities in the Chicago area. In the article, Ms. Donovan points out that there are four kinds of contracts available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities, that is, a community which has independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing all in one area. This is an attractive feature because individuals not need to move to a different community in the event of a change in health status.

The first kind of community is a Full Life Care community. The resident is charged an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Residents receive unlimited access to all levels of care with only a small change in monthly fees to adjust for inflation and increased costs.

The second is Modified Life Care. The contract limits the number of days in assisted living or skilled nursing for the resident. Once those days have been used, the resident is often offered a discounted rate for continued care. This option is attractive for residents who believe their assets will be sufficient to pay for future health care needs.

The third is Fee for Services Care. The entrance fee and monthly fees are substantially lower than the Full Life Care and the Modified Life Care options. The monthly fee covers living expenses. Residents have access to all levels of health care and pay the entire cost.

The fourth is Rental. This option requires a monthly rental payment, similar to renting an apartment.
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I recently came upon this quote by Jonathan Adler, an interior designer, “There is only one game to play at Thanksgiving, and that’s Ping-Pong. It’s perfection – my favorite way to work off that pumpkin pie.”

These are my sentiments exactly.

This clip from You Tube features players who are about as good as I’ve ever seen. I hope they happen to be neighbors of my brother who lives in Kentucky and who is hosting my family’s Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I’d love to have a game or two with them.

Have you ever thought about whom you would invite if you could invite any group of six people to your house for dinner on Saturday? I don’t mean people you know. I mean if you could invite absolutely anyone.

I know my sons, who are teenagers, would invite professional athletes. Somewhere at the table would be sitting Jacoby Ellsbury or Jonathan Papelbon.

In my mom’s case, it would be a Who’s Who of daytime television show hosts. Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters are likely choices.

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