A new study found one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia harbor strains of drug-resistant bacteria and more than 10 percent of the drug-resistant bacteria are resistant to four or more antibiotic classes. The research was published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.  Drug-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) were the most common bacteria found among the study subjects. Nearly 90 percent of the bacteria found were resistant to three types of antibiotics, most notably ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and extended-spectrum penicillins.

“Nursing home with usually have an increased need for healthcare worker assistance, as well as frequent exposure to antibiotics. This combination may be leading to a subset of vulnerable long-term care residents at high risk of both acquiring and spreading these dangerous bugs,” said Erika D’Agata, M.D., an infectious disease physician at Rhode Island Hospital and lead author of the study. “Frequent hospitalization among these residents also provides a constant influx of into the hospital setting, further fostering the spread throughout the healthcare delivery system.”

Genetically related bacteria were detected in 18 of the 22 (82 percent). Possible routes include overlapping hospital stays among residents with advanced dementia from different nursing homes and healthcare professionals cross-covering multiple nursing homes.

“Ongoing efforts to curb the acquisition and spread of this bacteria among nursing homes residents is crucial since this is an issue that goes beyond just one realm of care,” said D’Agata. “Healthcare institutions must work together to help curb the transmission of these emerging, dangerous pathogens.”

Ozarks First reported that John Carrier is accused of sexually assaulting a woman described by the Nixa Police Department as being under legal guardianship and of diminished mental capacity.  The Christian County prosecutor has charged Carrier with sodomy and rape of a resident in the nursing care facility where he worked.  A probable cause statement in the case states that Carrier, a caregiver at the Life Enhancement Village in Nixa, had sexual intercourse and deviate sexual intercourse with the woman, despite her resistance.

During interviews with investigators, Carrier admitted to having sex and oral sex with the woman, the court document states.  The victim told investigators that she had told Carrier to stop and that she didn’t want to have sex with him, but that she was afraid of him and followed his instructions because he was a staff member and was telling her what to do.
I wonder if he would have done this if there had been a video camera in the room?

The Humanitas Retirement Home in the Netherlands has created a program to attract younger residents in nursing homes. The younger residents do not require the services of the nursing home, but actually help out with their neighbors. Jurrien Mentink is a student at a nearby university. He lives in the Humanitas Retirement Home for free, in exchange for volunteering in some capacity 30 hours per month. The program is designed to increase the exchange of communications and culture, with the goal being a very simple one – have students be good neighbors. Mentink has volunteered to give computer lessons, cooked for his neighbors, and sometimes, just hangs out with them. “I bring the outside world in, so my world becomes their world,” said Mentink. Listen to the radio broadcast here.

Senior living providers had a remarkably positive 2014, marked by record investments and acquisitions, growing occupancy rates and swelling demand, according to the annual analysis of the largest senior living providers by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA).

There were more than 290 acquisitions representing more than $25 billion last year, up from the 2013 record of 225, ALFA reported. Overall, 29 of the top 80 providers on ALFA’s list this year plan to open or acquire additional communities in 2015.

Brookdale Senior Living was the top memory care and assisted living provider and the number two ranked independent living provider (behind Holiday Retirement), on ALFA’s list.

Occupancy rates also soared in 2014, according to ALFA. Both independent and assisted living saw their strongest occupancy rates since 2007. For 2015, assisted living occupancy is expected to rise from 89.3% to 89.6%, while independent living will go up from 91.3% to 92.2%, an all-time high. Senior living was most robust on the Eastern seaboard and in the Midwest.

“We had solid demand in 2014. We had levels of supply to meet that demand, increasing occupancy rates, strong rent growth, and very strong interest from the investor community in terms of acquisition activity,” Beth Mace, chief economist for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry stated in a news release.


Researchers from several established institutions just released a new study which shows that chronic constipation and fecal impaction are two areas of care where nursing homes aren’t meeting the needs of the residents. The study was conducted in 34 Spanish nursing homes, using surveys, data, and rectal examinations on consenting participants. This study is the first of its kind since other constipation studies have been based on the use of laxatives. What the researchers found is that chronic constipation is not well controlled in nursing homes, even though it’s very common. Almost 3/4 of all residents had chronic constipation, and half of those exhibited signs of fecal impaction. Part of the problem is that laxatives are not as effective in the older population as they are in others, and if a patient is given a laxative, there is no follow up to see if it worked. The researchers cite other studies done outside of Spain, some in the US, which suggest these results can be generalized to nursing homes elsewhere. The full study can be found here.