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Rising Obesity Rates Strain Nursing Homes

Rising Obesity Rates Strain Nursing Homes
(Copyright DPC)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 03:44 PM

In yet another sign of the times, American nursing homes report they are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and unprepared for growing numbers of very overweight residents.

The percentage of new nursing home residents who are moderate and severely obese — with a body mass index of 35 or greater — has risen to nearly 25 percent from 14.7 percent in 2000, according to a recent study, The New York Times reports.

Nursing home administrators say they cannot afford to care for such patients, because Medicaid, which covers more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents, does not reimburse them for the specialized equipment required.

Obese patients often need motorized lifts, larger wheelchairs, bedside commodes, shower chairs, and longer intramuscular needles and blood pressure cuffs. The devices are expensive: $10,000 for a mechanical lift, for instance, and $5,000 for an extra-wide bed.

“The population is shifting faster than the ability of nursing homes to deal with them,” said Cheryl Phillips, a senior vice president at LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit providers of services for older adults. “We don’t have adequate staff. We don’t have adequate equipment. We don’t have adequate knowledge.”

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Diet-And-Fitness
American nursing homes report they are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and unprepared for growing numbers of very overweight residents.
obesity, nursing, home
188
2015-44-16
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 03:44 PM
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