The population of the United States is aging. Approximately 15,000 nursing homes/rehabilitation facilities now exist across the nation. An elder citizen has a one-in-four chance of spending at least some time in one of these facilities. Furthermore, anyone over twenty-one years old may find themselves in one when needing short-term rehabilitation after a serious medical occurrence.
Nursing homes represent billions of dollars in potential profits reimbursed by government and insurance programs, a fact that has attracted individual owners and investor-backed corporations eager for financial gain. This drive for earnings often leads to shorthanded and poorly trained staff, which negatively impacts patient care.
While many declare the nursing home system broken, the author believes it needs to be overhauled shifting the focus to quality of care rather than profit. To effect this change, government and insurance agencies need to restructure nursing facility reimbursement policies to develop a comprehensive system of quality long-term care services-a process that should begin as soon as possible.
An insightful examination of the limitations of the current nursing-home environment, Nursing Homes to Rehabilitation Centers: What Every Person Needs to Know provides the information you need to become an informed health-care consumer-for yourself and for your aging family members.
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About the Author
New York native Phyllis Ayman's first nursing-home experience occurred when she was fifteen; it was anything but positive. She discovered her grandmother unattended in the lobby of Ingersoll Nursing Home surrounded by the overpowering smell of urine. This experience was a defining moment.
She went on to study communication disorders at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and completed her Master of Science degree in speech pathology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Upon graduating, her first job was in a Milwaukee nursing home.
Upon returning to New York, Ms. Ayman worked at the Rusk Institute of New York University Medical Center. She moved to Westchester, worked in private practice and then as an evaluation center coordinator and advocate for children and their families in special education preschool.
Eventually, Ms. Ayman returned to nursing homes/ rehabilitation centers where she has provided speech/language/dysphagia therapy services, developed programs and provided staff education in forty, primarily for-profit, facilities over the past twenty-three years.