America is aging — quickly. As more and more baby boomers are hitting retirement, more people are choosing nursing homes and assisted living facilities to take care of their aging parents and grandparents. With this growing nursing home population comes an increased risk of nursing home neglect. As New Jersey’s facilities become more crowded, it may become easier for nursing home residents to fall through the cracks and fall victim to such neglect.
However, one New Jersey company is trying to prevent nursing home neglect by making it easier for these facilities to track and monitor their residents. This company, and others like it, are pushing for more technology in nursing homes. This technology includes sensors that track how much residents are sleeping and showering, video games to keep residents’ minds sharp and entertained, monitors that can sense if a patient has fallen and high-tech emergency alert systems.
These technologies make it easier for facilities to track individual patients so that potential problems are caught early. This early intervention can literally be a life saver for some elderly residents. However, this technology is not widely available at this point. Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities have not been able to afford this life-saving technology because of cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid. Therefore, many elderly residents at these facilities are still at risk of receiving negligent care.
When nursing homes fail to properly manage, monitor or treat their patients, they can and should be held accountable. Victims of nursing home neglect and their families should stand up to these centers and let them know this behavior is unacceptable. People of all ages deserve to be treated with respect and care and legal remedies may be available when this does not happen.
Source: The Hackensack Record, “Nursing Homes Enter Digital Age,” Colleen Diskin, June 2, 2013