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Health

How to know if nursing homes are treating your loved ones right

Area Agency on Aging of Northwestern Michigan Director, Heidi Gustine, cautions that the state is about to reach a tipping point, as more baby boomers reach retirement age.
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How do you know if nursing homes and assisted living communities are treating you or your loved ones properly, and what do you do if they’re not?

Alison Hirschel, the managing attorney of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and Karrie Jordan, the long-term care ombudsman for Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties, joined Stateside today to answer those questions and more – including questions listeners submitted as part of our MI Curious project.

Listen to the conversation above, and check out answers to questions submitted by listeners below.

Question:  Why can assisted living facilities hire people without much training or certification?

– An anonymous listener from Kalamazoo

Answer:

Question: I can learn regularly about restaurant health code violations via, for example, MLive, so why isn't there something similarly public for elder care facilities? Is there anyone in Michigan monitoring health care regulations at elder care facilities? 

– Patrick Smitowski from Canton 

Answer:

Question: My mother lives in a nursing home in Ypsilanti in a Medicaid bed, and I'm just wondering why the state does not allow a restraint – like a piece of fabric or something similar – to be used to prevent her from falling out of her wheelchair.

– Janet from Ann Arbor

Answer:

Question: My question is why isn't there some source for finding a good in-home caregiver? Basically, we just want to stay at home and need good caregivers.

– Bob Swartz from Waterford

Answer:

Question: What is respite care? How can it be a help to families caring for an elder? Why is it not more widely available in Michigan?

– Kevin Beard from East Lansing

Answer:

Question: I'm considering quitting my career to start an elderly care business, starting with my parents and possibly my husbands' parents. I'm just wondering: Do you know how I would find out more information on how to do this? Where do I go, and does Michigan offer training for elder care?

– Carolyn Fink from Portage

Answer:

Question: What will elder care look like when younger generations come of age? That is, how will we fund care in the future?

– Kris Harrison from Royal Oak

Answer:

If you have concerns about how someone is being treated, you can call the Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 1-866-485-9393.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)