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Young people winding up in nursing homes

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

More young people are winding up in nursing homes - Yahoo! News

SARASOTA, Fla. - Adam Martin doesn't fit in here. No one else in this nursing home wears Air Jordans. No one else has stacks of music videos by 2Pac and Jay-Z. No one else is just 26.

It's no longer unusual to find a nursing home resident who is decades younger than his neighbor: About one in seven people now living in such facilities in the U.S. is under 65. But the growing phenomenon presents a host of challenges for nursing homes, while patients like Martin face staggering isolation.

"It's just a depressing place to live," Martin says. "I'm stuck here. You don't have no privacy at all. People die around you all the time. It starts to really get depressing because all you're seeing is negative, negative, negative."

The number of under-65 nursing home residents has risen about 22 percent in the past eight years to about 203,000, according to an analysis of statistics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That number has climbed as mental health facilities close and medical advances keep people alive after they've suffered traumatic injuries. Still, the overall percentage of nursing home residents 30 and younger is less than 1 percent.

oklahomagal

Specializes in Lactation.

wow.... that must be a hard situation to be in. I am impressed that Adam has one friend that sees his need for companionship of someone his own age and he visits him on a regular basis.

Heck I would enjoy being his nurse... no one else in there is probably listening to good music :-)

Jonesskky RN

Specializes in EMERGENCY!!!.

It's sad because it's great that younger people are surviving traumatic injuries but what about their quality of life...another reason to simply be humble and grateful, I guess.

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

Unfortunately as I've taken care of alot of pt's in their late teens-20's, I've sent my share to nursing facilities. Many refuse to come back, wanting to attempt home care instead of being in an adult nursing home. Between a chronic illness/traumatic illness and their living situation, often these pts are very depressed. Families often appear overwhelmed with having a young person requiring so much care, so it's no uncommon for family support to be limited to non-existent.

Edited by ChristineN

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

Some of these non-elderly residents of institutionalized long-term care are people with severe and complex psychiatric diagnoses and histories who are unable to safely care for themselves. There is just nowhere else for them to go. Besides nursing homes, many end up in assisted living facilities, overseen by people without any professional degrees or training at all.

Forever Sunshine, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC.

wow.... that must be a hard situation to be in. I am impressed that Adam has one friend that sees his need for companionship of someone his own age and he visits him on a regular basis.

Heck I would enjoy being his nurse... no one else in there is probably listening to good music :-)

Me too! He'd be favored by the staff in my facility.

The music might actually be funny. We have a resident who repeats things that she hears. I'm just picturing the Jay-Z and Flo Rida blasting and her repeating parts of the songs(and it would be the wrong parts to repeat too)

tralalaRN

Specializes in pediatrics.

And, this will likely increase substantially over the years, d/t the fact that NICU's have been saving smaller and sicker newborns since the 1980s (impacted by passage of Baby Doe Laws). The first big wave of one pound something infants are now young adults. .having survived their premature birth with significant disabilities d/t acquired neonatal neuro damage resulting in CP, MR, seizures, blindness, autisms, etc. etc. These 1980's babies have aging parents who may no longer be able to provide the level of care needed.

RetRN77

Specializes in Labor/Delivery, Pediatrics, Peds ER.

I personally know two individuals who were in this situation. One was because his state refused to place him in a regular facility for the disabled because they refused for years to determine him to be developmentally disabled. In order to qualify for state assistance, a person had to be proven developmentally disabled for the programs his parents were seeking. After years of fighting with the state, the parents were able to prove their case so he is now in a more suitable facility.

In our state, things are deplorable when it comes to the disabled. Last year, HHS budget was cut 50% and this year it was cut another 25%. No one can get into even emergency housing at this time unless they are on the street, or abuse is proven with a police report. There are no spots and no money left for development. The promising "community integrated living arrangements" which placed the disabled in shared homes or apartments with appropriate levels of supervision were a hope we once had for a family member, so he could live semi-independently. Fortunately, nursing home placement isn't necessary, but others don't have that choice.

Edited by RetRN77

Where I work we have several out of 50 who are under age 60 with a few under 30. Strokes, traumatic injuries, and MS (what has got to be one of the cruelest diseases out there). Some had been homeless with psychiatric issues that fell into the healthcare cracks until a major medical issue landed them in LTC, and one or two had no major health issues and should have been in assisted living/group homes but due to funding issues were sent into LTC. When I first started working there i thought one patient was staff. At night he would empty all the trash cans, mop the floors, clean the tables in dinning room etc. No matter how much we tried to get him to stop and back to his room, within an hour he would be back at it. Had another who every morning would push the residents in wheelchairs down to the dinning room, then come back and get more. I asked him why and he just shrugged and said it was his job (it actually wasn't he just would take it apon himself to do it.)

mercyteapot, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dev. Disabilities, Health Disparities.

That article made me so sad when I read it the other day.

Where I work we have several out of 50 who are under age 60 with a few under 30. Strokes, traumatic injuries, and MS (what has got to be one of the cruelest diseases out there). Some had been homeless with psychiatric issues that fell into the healthcare cracks until a major medical issue landed them in LTC, and one or two had no major health issues and should have been in assisted living/group homes but due to funding issues were sent into LTC. When I first started working there i thought one patient was staff. At night he would empty all the trash cans, mop the floors, clean the tables in dinning room etc. No matter how much we tried to get him to stop and back to his room, within an hour he would be back at it. Had another who every morning would push the residents in wheelchairs down to the dinning room, then come back and get more. I asked him why and he just shrugged and said it was his job (it actually wasn't he just would take it apon himself to do it.)

My great-aunt, who was born in 1930, had mild MR and lived in a nursing home for some time for the reasons you described, and she too would help out the nurses. Eventually, she was moved into a supervised apartment when one became available, and this was where she lived her last few years and really was the most appropriate environment for her.

I was surprised that in Sarasota, there wasn't some kind of group home where he could live, but maybe there's more to the story.

My mother knew of a woman (they had a mutual friend) who was in a nursing home after a car accident when she was about 30 years old. She was in a PVS for about 15 years; although her husband legally divorced her, so she would qualify for Medicaid and he and their children wouldn't be bankrupted, he continued to visit her regularly until her death, even after he remarried, and her mother continues to be an advocate for people with traumatic brain injuries.

ktliz

Specializes in critical care.

So sad. Although, I did enjoy reading about the facility that has made special accommodations for the younger residents--poker nights, later breakfast, etc. Little changes can make such a big difference. Sounds like a rewarding place to work.

I feel terrible for these folks. I wish I (or anyone) knew what to do to make this better. :crying2:

I feel terrible for these folks. I wish I (or anyone) knew what to do to make this better. :crying2:

Look for more of the same, if not worse absent new laws and or rules, not to mention funds for other sort of arrangements.

The trend for seniors to "age in place" is growing and expected to be the all but the norm for much of the baby-boom generation. This has left operators of nursing homes scrambling to fill empty beds. Many are turning to LTC, low level psych patients, and whatever else they can get.

One hopes that as "healthcare" reform goes forward some changes will be made to allow more resources and funding devoted to either home care or at least a more "home like" setting for these patients.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

One nursing home I worked in for a few months had a specialty floor called the Young Adult Unit, which housed residents under age 50 with a variety of medical and psychiatric problems. Managing this unit just about separated me from my sanity: we had patients 21 to 48 with spinal-cord injury, drug abuse issues, brittle diabetes, AIDS, you name it---even a married couple, both paraplegics, who stayed in bed all the time and had to have staff assistance with, shall we say, asserting their marital rights. The addicts were manipulative, our two SCIs rode their power chairs into town every Friday and Saturday night and got drunk at the local honky-tonk, the diabetics ate everything they could get their hands on and then got cheesed off at US for their blood sugars being over 400 most of the time ("it's all that starchy food you feed us", they'd complain).

I truly salute those who are able to make this type of unit work, because there will only be an increasing need for them in the years to come as we Boomers fade away and the GenX'ers start needing LTC services. It's not that far away!

Unfortunately, my daughter could end up as one of these young people. She has a progressively degenerative neuromuscular disease called Friedreich's Ataxia. I have often wondered, as a nurse, if there was some type of group living facility that could be developed for those like her. She is cognitively normal, but her disease will leave her a prisoner in a body that does not work. She is currently wheelchair bound and sometimes even needs assistance to transfer. We help her dress, bathe, etc. But what will happen to her when we are no longer able to help her? She may not live long enough for that to happen....heart failure is common with this disorder. Anyone out there with any ideas? We could come up with something to help a lot of people!

Vikingkitten

Specializes in OR, OB, EM, Flight, ICU, PACU.......

Wow! That's enough to make your day inhale profusely!

Can only think of one similar instance: it was a 20 something post M/C accident; student @ KSU. Family from somewhere far away (New England, I think) and obviously not able to travel. Spent a month in a local Nursing home and did his PT, OT etc, until he was able to go back to the dorm and resume classes. This was back in the early 80's, I believe.

GitanoRN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

Unquestionably, this is a sensitive subject that shocks people once they know about it, thank you for posting the issue...:redbeathe

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Several of my pts are in NH:

1. 40 something male SCI, drug dealer went to NH where he sold drugs. NH eventually closed down due to this activity - obviously he wasn't the only one doing this.

2. 40 y/o female with DM and inability to care for herself

3. 40 something female bipolar disorder, unable to live on her own, no community services available

4. 50 something female bipolar/schizophrenic in that same NH for the same reasongs as number 3

And these are the four that stick out in my mind All of these pts have ESRD and are on dialysis and can't care for themselves.

In my area we have three NH that deal specifically with mental health issues. However, since these folks have now developed ESRD, the nurses are hard pressed to care for chronically ill people too who often refuse meds, drink too much, leave the facility, etc..

I read this article as well, but had a different thought.

I thought back to a 30 some odd year old quad patient that I had worked with. He had been drunk driving in his early twenties, and was in a car accident.

He was a nasty man. Verbally abusive, would spit at us when we would give him his medications, try to bite fingers, and was a general PITA.

He ended up in a LTC facility because he had gone through so many agencies and so many care places that no one wanted to deal with him anymore.

I understand that depression sets in, and I certainly wouldn't want to live like that, but if I had a choice between behaving myself and living in a nursing home with old folks, I would certainly want to do that.

I am wondering if this is the whole story on this young man, or part of it.

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