Sunday, February 22, 2015

How lawyers are turning nursing homes into prisons.

The state and its credentialed henchmen poison everything they touch. Even retirement homes where you are imprisoned and regimented for your own good by the edict of state lawyers and the threats of trial lawyers.

The Eden Alternative's CEO, Christopher Perna, told me in a phone interview, "It's almost militaristic, the way many nursing homes are run, where the administration is the top dog. They make all the decisions and the staff basically do as they're told." He adds, "it's very easy to settle into a series of institutional practices that keep you within boundaries that are defined by the government. It can lead to a very sterile, very lifeless environment."

This hierarchal approach to elder care developed out of nursing home operators' fears that their businesses could be vulnerable to government sanctions for failing to comply with broadly written regulations. Everything from requirements to confine certain residents to wheelchairs in order to mitigate the risk of a fall, to strict rules on food content and preparation are covered in the Medicare and Medicaid Program Conditions of Participation, which run almost a thousand pages. But as Marshall Kapp noted in a 2012 article in The Atlantic, "sometimes...the biggest barrier to culture change in nursing homes is not the actual wording of the regulations but rather the often inconsistent, incoherent, and uninformed way that the regulations are interpreted and enforced by government employees who regularly survey facilities and cite them for perceived noncompliance."

Kapp adds, "requirements that beds must be placed only within certain spaces in a resident's room make it impossible for residents to rearrange their furniture as they wish. Regulatory prohibitions on open kitchens prevent residents from fixing snacks whenever they wish. If we are serious about making nursing homes more comfortable and homelike, a review of existing regulations and amendment or removal of those regulations that impede culture change must be put into place."

Here's hoping all my smug leftist friends get sent to a retirement home that is an HHS award winner. Naw. I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy.  Of course my lefty friends would do it to me and would even insist that they were doing me a favor. Such is the advanced state of dementia among the baby boom left.

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