Nursing Home Neglect - General Information from an Attorney
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A nursing home is a place of residence for people who require constant medical care. Usually the residents are elderly, but the term can apply to places of care for the mentally or physically ill. In America, nursing homes are required to have a licensed nurse on duty 24 hours a day, and during at least one shift each day, one of those nurses must be a Registered Nurse.
What is a nursing home not? A hospital is not a residence, but is a place where people require constant medical care. A retirement home is a residence, but requires non-constant medical care. An assisted living facility does have some similarities to a nursing home; however, a nursing home's patients need more intensive care than residents in an assisted living facility. A long term care facility (LTCF) is a generic term for long-term residents requiring some form of assistance. LTCF is commonly used within a medical context.
People in nursing homes generally live in double occupancy rooms. There is usually a nursing station in each hallway of a nursing home for the registered nurses who monitor resident health and administer medications. Nurse's aides play a key role maintaining residents' hygiene. A housekeeping staff in a nursing home is responsible for ensuring that the rooms, beds, towels, bathrooms, and other facilities are kept sanitary. Physical therapists and occupational therapists attempt to help the residence regain certain abilities. Social workers help with personal issues such as billing and transitions back to the home environment.
In the United States, Medicare reimburses an elderly person for nursing home stays for rehabilitation purposes after the elderly person has been in the hospital for three days or more days. There is a co-payment requirement for the first 21 days of the stay. Once the person has gotten as well as the nursing home staff believes she will get, Medicare no longer reimburses. Medicare never reimburses for purely custodial care. Medicaid does reimburse for custodial care but a person may only qualify for Medicaid if she has extremely limited income and assets.
In the United States, nursing home costs can run up to $350 daily. Charges are usually determined by how much assistance the nursing home resident needs with the activities of daily living (ADLs).
When considering living arrangements for those who are unable to live by themselves, it is important to carefully look at many nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well as retirement homes, keeping in mind the person's abilities to take care of themselves independently.
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