On a hot summer’s day in Bossier City, Louisiana, 57-year old Hattie Mae Chambers walked out of the nursing home where she resided. Chambers, who suffered from dementia, was gone for 3 ½ hours before workers began to look for her – even though she had actually been noted missing much earlier. When Chambers was found, she was lying dead on the ground in the fetal position – having succumbed to the extreme heat. Her body temperature was recorded at 118 degrees.
During an 18 month period, Medicare inspectors discovered more than 2,500 examples of substandard care – such as those that caused Chamber’s death – in nursing homes in Louisiana alone. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report, 118,000 deficiencies were found, ranging from minor infractions to major violations. Such violations included:
• Hiring workers with violent criminal backgrounds (including manslaughter)
• Inadequate medication management
• Physical abuse of patients
• Sexual assault of patients
• Failing to protect residents from fellow patients with aggressive behavior
Unfortunately, the physical risk associated with nursing homes is not institutionalized care’s only drawback. According to a study commissioned by the New York Life Long-Term Care Division, the average cost of nursing home care is rising significantly.
Fortunately, there are safer and less expensive alternatives to nursing home care. Working with a reputable home care agency that uses reliable home care software and home care system allows families to provide quality, personalized care to aging relatives. A dependable home care system or home care software program meets the key objectives of home care – such as safety, transparency, and accountability.
The best home care software and home care systems are user-friendly, and have been designed with seniors and their loved ones in mind. Caregivers that use a home care software, like ClearCare, use the client’s telephone to clock in and out, guaranteeing that care is being given as scheduled. Important daily tasks – such as meals and medication reminders - can be created in the home care system. These details are then given to the caregiver when she clocks in to the patient’s home, and must be updated before she can clock out.
While home care is not always an option for all seniors, when it is, home care agencies that offer a point-of-care home care software, such as ClearCare, edge out the competition by giving families real peace of mind. The comprehensive home care system ClearCare has developed allows agencies to monitor patient care better than any technology on the market, leaving deficiencies in the dust.