The Columbus Dispatch had an interesting report on the excessive cost of nursing home care.
When Teresa Horstman of Madison County in Ohio was concerned about her father who she says “lived his life with dignity” and was then suffering from dementia, she wanted him to have the highest quality of life. This prompted her to upgraded his assisted-living room to the most advanced care option offered at Springfield nursing home. However, Teresa feels that for the high price she was paying, her father was not getting the improved quality of care that he should. “Attention from the staff was lacking, she said. And, she recalls, a physician who made rounds there failed to respond to her repeated requests that Mr. Horstman receive a clinical evaluation of his condition.”
She says that her father worked his entire life, along with raising nine children and now his life savings are almost exhausted paying for a poor level of care. “He had to sell his belongings. Here we were draining his bank account so he could sit around at a home in poopy diapers.”
Nursing homes defend their prices saying since most resident require help with at least four or more daily activities including bathing, feeding, toileting, and transferring they receive a lot of services that are well worth the price. However, many nursing homes claim their prices are justified by the level of care they provide, however it is important to consider if residents are actually receiving the care they pay for.
Nursing homes say that due to a bad economy and a growing number of elderly individuals that are choosing to receive in-home care rather than move to a facility, the market is very competitive and they cannot continue to raise prices. Rather than increase the price and risk losing customers, nursing homes are finding other ways to cut cost such as cutting staff, often at the expense of their residents. Nursing homes decease their staff size and cut employee benefits to save money which compromises the level of resident care. This hurts residents who are not receiving the level of care they pay for since employees who are overworked and under compensated cannot preform their duties.