Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.
Free ConsultationAll calls answered 24/75 convenient locations
Click Here To Call Now
215-392-4217 Local
800-724-2323 Toll free
to Our Offices
Toggle Menu Email Contact
Toggle View Our Practice Areas

Preventing elder abuse and redefining the nursing home experience

We have previously written about how difficult it can be to put an aging relative in a nursing home. There are feelings of guilt, of course, but there is also worry. Will my loved one receive good care and attention? Will they enjoy living here or hate it? Are there any alternative options?

Unfortunately, nursing homes in the United States tend to be depressing places - a fact that most people take for granted. But can we do better? Can we change the way that we design nursing homes or even change the way that we think about aging?

A recent article in the Washington Post profiles a doctor named Bill Thomas. He has become well known for demonstrating that different nursing home models can vastly improve health and quality of life for residents. In the early 1990s, he created "The Eden Alternative" when he was asked to become the medical director at a nursing home in New York.

To combat the depressing atmosphere that seemed to define the home, he decided to introduce animals and plants - and lots of them. Cats, dogs, hens, rabbits and parakeets became beloved pets and breathed new life into the facility. He also brought in hundreds of plants - both flowers and vegetables.

The results were astonishing, both in terms of health and quality of life. Fewer prescriptions were needed; death rates dropped and many residents began to take better care of themselves.

Since that time, hundreds of facilities in all 50 states (and around the world) have adopted the Eden Alternative. Unfortunately, they represent a small fraction of all nursing homes; most of which still operate under what the Post calls the "institutional-warehouse model."

Dr. Thomas now spends his time traveling and speaking, hoping to fundamentally change the way that we think about getting old. As America's elderly population increases and baby boomers reach retirement age, this is becoming an issue of even greater significance.

Change of this magnitude will not happen overnight, and it doesn't have to. But at the very least, we need to do more to ensure that our loved ones in nursing homes receive the care they need and deserve. That includes protection against elder abuse and neglect.

If you suspect that a family member or other loved one has suffered mistreatment or abuse in a nursing home, please share your concerns with an experienced attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Philadelphia Office
1525 Locust Street
8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 800-724-2323
Phone: 215-392-4217
Fax: 215-732-2289
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Reading Office
38 N 6th Street
Reading, PA 19601

Phone: 215-392-4217
Reading Law Office Map

Allentown Office
612 Hamilton Street
The Trifecta Building
2nd Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

Phone: 215-392-4217
Allentown Law Office Map

Lancaster Office
8 North Queen Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 215-392-4217
Lancaster Law Office Map

Cherry Hill Office
457 Haddonfield Rd, Suite 540
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone: 215-392-4217
Cherry Hill Law Office Map