nursing home

As Dean Cole's dementia worsened, he began wandering at night. He'd even forgotten how to drink water. His wife, Virginia, could no longer manage him at home. So after much agonizing, his family checked him into a Minnesota nursing home.

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A shortage of nursing home space across Florida will be helped by the addition of almost 1,000 more new beds.

Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
Wikimedia Commons

 Nearly thirty companies will be competing to build new nursing homes in Florida. And with 1,700 applications for only about 500 new beds, competition will be fierce.

Florida just ended a 15-year moratorium on new nursing home construction.

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek said this could be the last big round of new nursing homes because of a cap.

Older hand holding another hand
NPR

Monday is the deadline for companies to appeal decisions on who can build Florida's first new nursing homes in 14 years.

When Florida approved the building of 2,600 new nursing home beds last month, it denied one application for each it approved.

Today is the final day to appeal those decisions before a judge.

Florida approved 900 nursing homes beds less than what the state needed. That difference could be the basis for legal challenges doling out which companies are allowed to build Florida’s first new nursing home beds since 2001.

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. You can check NPR's interactive database to see the history of antipsychotic drug usage at nursing homes in your area and how they compare to national and state averages. In Florida, the average is 21.7 percent.

A Bradenton nursing home has been suspended from Florida’s Medicaid program on charges of fraud, forcing the home's Medicaid patients to be moved on Friday.  
About 25 to 28 Medicaid recipients residing at the Riverfront Nursing and Rehabilitation Center were in the process of moving, according to the Bradenton Herald.  On April 15, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration issued an order suspending Medicaid privileges for the nursing facility.   

A Tampa-based trial lawyer who has won millions in damages by suing nursing homes, penetrating the corporate veil to go after investors, vendors and contractors, may see his strategy blocked by a bill in the Florida Legislature. As the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports, Jim Wilkes says he “follows the assets” as he seeks large punitive damages from nursing homes that abuse or neglect patients.

John Knox Village in Pompano Beach is building the first “Green House” long-term-care center in Florida, with another one planned for next year in Jacksonville, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Two years ago, Dorothy Holmes, then 75, was in the cozy pink bathroom of her home getting ready to shower when she fell. It's the type of accident that's common among older Americans — and it's often the very thing that triggers the end of independence.

"I got a big spot on my head; it almost conked me out," Holmes says in her soft voice.

She heard her husband come down the hall, "and when he turned the corner all I heard was, 'Oh God, honey, what did you do now?' After that I don't know anything 'cause I passed out," Holmes recalls.

Tampa Bay Times

Patty Wallace gets $2,000 a month from her 81-year-old mother, who suffers from dementia, to provide round-the-clock care.

Residents of a nursing home in St. Petersburg are livid over a change in policy that limits them to nine 20-minute smoke breaks a day. The facility says it changed the rules after federal health officials sent a letter about a nursing-home patient who died after her cigarette lit her clothes on fire.

State officials visited the Miami area nursing home, which houses severely disabled children; some have already been moved out.

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