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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Front Page Today's Paper: "Is the Quality of Elder Care in Jeopardy"

The front page story today on the San Luis Obispo Tribune asks "Is the quality of elder care in jeopardy?" The article starts with the story of a woman at a local facility who died from complications from a diabetic condition. State officials found the facility had "insufficient and unqualified staff" who failed to monitor a diabetic condition.

The questions about the quality of elder care are being asked all over the world, as this topic grows in importance with the aging of populations and changes in society.

The small facilities, like the one described above, are said in the article to be often less expensive and less restrictive. Many of them are wonderful, home style settings where a house has been adapted for use as a board and care facility.

The less restrictive aspect of the small board and care homes that offer assistance to frail seniors also means they are not inspected regularly. The article said that unless there is a complaint the small homes might only be inspected once every five years.

The article said in 1998 San Luis Obispo County had fewer than 40 small board and care homes and now there are 74 with 10 beds or less. The trend for more facilities to keep up with the growing demand is expected to continue as the population ages.

For information about local facilities, recommendations, and violations you can call the local ombudsman services where you live. The long term care ombudsman, as discussed in other posts at this blog, is a person who investigates complaints and is there to help you find quality care. This official is familiar with the inspections, violations, and quality of local facilities.

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