Health care options for elderly need examination

Published 10:32 am Thursday, October 16, 2008

A recent article in the Springfield News Sun speaks to nursing home quality based on a federal guidelines checklist.

The top places are filled and/or have waiting lists. Which others would you like to choose?

Would you choose a place with four fire or safety violations or a place with abuse reported and staffing problems? One place had 28 health violations. What choices are made everyday due to lack of other options?

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Ohio is at the bottom of the 50 state list for alternative options to nursing home care.

Nursing homes are not held responsible for the inability to provide adequate care. One Dayton area nursing home had guards before it was shut down by the Department of Health.

Those people were not provided with counseling for the trauma they received. No one took responsibility.

Some sources say up to 30 percent of nursing homes nationwide are barely meeting and are inconsistently meeting medicare guidelines.

It is time for communities to take responsibility to protect the weak and vulnerable elderly. Elderly have no voices and no rights unless their rights are protected by the people.

Nursing home rights given on intake are usually more on paper than in practice.

City and county governments can require high standards being met by the nursing homes in their jurisdiction. Local public and private resources and agencies can also provide the nursing home with additional oversite and community attention.

Ohio needs to study what other options are used for elder care.