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Nursing home patients suffer as nursing homes seek luxuries

If you send your loved one to a nursing home, you expect the facility to focus more on their well-being than on amenities and luxuries for more lucrative patients. Whether your loved one's care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or out of your own pocket shouldn't matter; they deserve to be treated respectfully.

A news article about nursing homes brings up an important point about the homes that promise a luxury lifestyle. As nursing facilities aim to get more funding from Medicare, making the facility look inviting can become a focus, instead of simply focusing on the well-being of patients.

The nursing home may be creating luxury living quarters hoping to lure in better-paying clients, but that doesn't matter if the quality of care isn't up to par. With luxury in mind, sometimes, the nursing homes aren't built in a way that truly supports the patients inside. While that may not matter to healthy patients, those suffering from infections or long-term illnesses don't necessarily need hot tubs, but they may need more nurses on staff. Promises of hot baths on demand or immediate help when needed can't be met if the staff isn't there to provide the service.

In addition, when a patient "runs out" of funds from Medicare and is being pushed to use Medicaid, the cut in funding can result in them being evicted from the nursing home where they've lived for some time. That means that a vulnerable person now has to find a new location to take care of them, and the quality between facilities can be dramatically different.

Source: The Star Adviser, "As nursing homes chase lucrative patients, quality of care is said to lag," Katie Thomas, April. 22, 2015

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