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Trend Watch: Issues of Dignity in Senior Care

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 31 January 2013

Let’s help these trends move out from California and into other states: if you have a family member or friend in a senior care facility, be their advocate. Progress in reforming the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes and other care communities for seniors. Changes to legislation governing important end of life decisions. Dignity violations and Medicare passes. These are current — and noteworthy — senior care trends in Southern California, says this recent post from the Open Placement blog.

Writer Christy Rakoczy takes a closer look at each of these issues of dignity and the corresponding state rules and regulations (and some national initiatives). In terms of antipsychotic drugs, which are primarily used to control difficult behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, Rakoczy reports a greater awareness of the dangers of misuse and abuse that has translated to further training and education among nurses and other health care providers, a move towards finding alternative means of treatment, and care plans that include “non-medication interventions.”

She also reports that providers must be careful not to violate a resident’s dignity, from speaking to residents and their family members in a respectful way, to exercising caution when pushing a resident in a wheelchair.

Let’s help these trends move out from California and into other states: if you have a family member or friend in a senior care facility, be their advocate. Hold their care providers accountable. Know your rights and theirs.

 

 

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