Thursday, December 01, 2011

Flexible Nutrition Aproach recommended for Nursing Home Residents

When planning nursing home residents' meals and dining experiences, Food has to look good, taste good, and be offered courteously and in a comfortable setting... Long-term care facility providers should avoid overcomplicating the operation of food services and follow common sense principles. Multiple factors can complicate fulfillment of nursing home residents' nutritional needs. Altered metabolism, medication, or illness can bring on loss of appetite; shortage of staff to assist dependent residents at mealtimes are also obstacles facing long-term care facilities.
Strategies for enhancing the nutritional status of residents, include:
- Careful assessment of altered nutritional status;
- Flexibility in accommodating residents' food and eating preferences;
- training of staff;
- Improved staff communication

Residents families should always be polled as to their loved ones eating preferences and habits. Following these rules can avoid malnutrition, dehydration and rapid weight loss.

Massachusetts Regulations 105 CMR 150 .. state:
(G) Preparation and Serving of Food
(1) All foods shall be prepared by methods that conserve the nutritive value, flavor and appearance.

Federal Regulations 42CFR 483.35 "Dietary Services" states that:
(d) Food. Each resident receives and the facility provides--

(1) Food prepared by methods that conserve nutritive value, flavor, and appearance;
(2) Food that is palatable, attractive, and at the proper temperature;

Significant weight loss can often be avoided. If not stemmed however it can lead to a downward spiral of a residents health. Adherence to the existing regulations added to a specifically tailored diet for the resident can go a long way toward health maintenance.

The Hamill Firm of Quincy, Massachusetts concentrates their practice on advocating for elderly nursing home residents and has a successful track record of verdicts and settlements including some of the highest emotional distress verdicts  ever awarded in Massachusetts for nursing home abuse. The Hamill group encourages all residents injured by neglect in Massachusetts nursing homes to call for a free evaluation of their claim. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Massachusetts Finishes in Bottom Third of States for Nursing Home Care

"Lowered Expectations" in Massachusetts Nursing Homes

Massachusetts Long Term care report cards including Nursing Home care marks graded Massachusetts at the third out of fourth quadrants for nursing care quality.
For these importatnt indicators see the state rank (out of 50)
- Quality of Life & Quality of Care: 34th
- Support for Family Caregivers: 39th
- Percent of home health episodes of care in which interventions
to prevent pressure sores were included in care plan for at-risk patients: 40th
- Percent of adults age 18 with disabilities living in the community
who are satisfied or very satisfied with life: 38th
- Percent of home health patients with hospital admission: 38th

- Cost: 17th most expensive

The disparity between the quality of services delivered and the cost of nursing home care is telling and unacceptible in a state with so many top level health care resources. In this case "you don't get what you pay for".
Massachusetts State Scorecard - The Commonwealth Fund