Nursing Homes Across the Country Are Closing
As a new generation of people enter into old-age, many are spending their last decades in nursing homes. The nursing home establishment promises a higher and safer standard of living than those one might have at home alone, but this standard is at risk because the establishments themselves are at risk.
Nursing Home Closures
Nursing homes across the country are closing. At the moment, there are just 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. According to a New York Times report, 440 nursing homes closed in the last decade. In many areas, especially those more rural areas, nursing homes are struggling to make ends meet between Medicare and other forms of income. In addition, many nursing homes are struggling to meet standards for quality of care and desperately need expensive improvements or additional staff to remain open lawfully. These and other factors are closing nursing homes around the country for good.
Consequences of Nursing Home Closures
When nursing homes close, they must move residents to other facilities, often creating strain on the residents in transit. Moving residents with medical or mental conditions requires specialized attention and care. Residents sometimes experience unnecessary physical or mental trauma due to these closures.
In addition, when residents move, they’re often further away from their loved ones and valuable support system. Reporters found that many residents who were relocated after home closure were much further away from their families, forcing loved ones to make difficult decisions about how to stay present in their nursing home resident’s lives. One man, who’s father was transferred to another nursing home facility after his closed, explains: “Before I could just drop by five days a week…He knew I was there.” The Times reports that not long after the man’s father was moved to a new nursing home, he got a call explaining that his father had fallen out of bed. He then had to decide, should he travel the 50 more miles to check on his father or wait for the nursing home’s word that his father was alright. These are decisions no loved one should have to make.
New York Needs More Nursing Homes
In New York City alone, 51,071 patients are in need of beds in nursing homes. The New York State Department of Health estimates that close to 10,000 more beds will be needed to accommodate the growing population of patients needing care.
But these estimates are based on numbers that assume the nursing homes already in use will remain that way. If nursing home closures effect New York City like they have effected rural areas of the country, New York will be in dire need of more nursing homes.
As medicine advances and makes longer life spans more achievable, the threats to the nursing home system must be addressed. Law makers and advocates should work to make homes available for our most vulnerable population.
If you or a loved one has experienced injury or pain and suffering from a nursing home closure, you deserve justice. Call the experienced lawyers at Deliso Law. They understand nursing home regulations and are dedicated to fight for you. Offering free consultations when you call at 718-238-3100.
by Allison Theresa