Do traditional nursing home designs encourage neglect?

Could poor planning rise to the level of nursing home neglect or abuse? Bill Thomas, a former director of a nursing home facility, might agree with that conclusion.

Thomas started an organization called The Eden Alternative that seeks to transform nursing homes from sterile, hospital-like environments into vibrant retirement centers that include animals, gardens and plants. He also advocates for smaller, intimate residences instead of long hospital corridors and common areas. 

Thomas claims that existing nursing home designs actually disable elders because they’re too big. He further claims that his changes made a big impact in as little as six weeks, when he ordered a truck to pick up the wheelchairs that his residents were no longer using. Others have also taken notice of this approach: The idea has garnered the man a spot on the Wall Street Journal’s top 10 list of innovators.

As a law firm that focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect, we understand that proving liability requires more than just poor building design or the absence of greenery. At the same time, staffing protocols that ignore residents, or encourage a sedentary or isolated existence, might be deemed unprofessional or even negligent in the eyes of a jury.

Our experience can help concerned individuals take a proactive approach to the care of their elderly loved ones. We are also familiar with new ranking systems, such as the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, which rely on quality ratings to help discharge patients to other levels of care. Check out our law firm’s website to learn more about our practice and the options that may be available to you.

Source: Washington Post, “We’re lucky if we get to be old, physician and professor believes,” Tara Bahrampour, Jan. 23, 2016

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