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Diapers in Nursing Homes, An Unnecessary Explosion

Did you know that, all over America, and possibly in other countries also, patients and residents are being coerced into using diapers even though they do not need to use diapers? All over America, and even right here in New York State, the sale of diapers is going up and up and up through institutions that constantly put patients and residents into diapers even though there is no medical need for those diapers.

How does this happen? Can this happen to you if you go into a nursing home? Can this happen to you if you live in a rehabilitation center that doubles as a nursing home? Who profits from these actions?

The people who make the rules for nursing homes, generally, are not those that have to live in them, and thus, many of the rules are archaic and not useful for patients or visitors.

First, let's distinguish between the hospitals and the centers and rehabilitation places. Most times, yes, that is most times, in hospitals right after serious operations, some patients need to wear diapers, or rather use bed pads that protect the sheets. This is not too much to worry about. This is understandable. It is a hospital and most times, in good hospitals they are thinking of you and thinking of how to make you comfortable and how to get you through the day with as little discomfort as possible. The real problems begin in large institutions that double as rehabilitation centers. Patients are living there permanently, while some are just living there for a short period of time. And most times, it is in those particular rehab centers that double as nursing homes –in those places, that is where the diaper war comes into play. Patients and residents arrive at the doors, usually through the ambulance, and the patients are brought to their rooms either by stretchers or by wheelchairs.

They arrive and they are given their room. At this point, they still might be wearing underwear and they still might not have diapers on. They don't need diapers. However, give it a few days, and if that patient can not walk or can not walk steadily, there might be some workers at the nursing home that might try to convince, or cajole or humiliate patients and residents into wearing diapers instead of wearing regular underwear. And this is happening all over America. Even in the good nursing homes, this happens. There are a few good homes in the state of New York, and there are a few good nursing homes all over America. But just because these are the better ones, that does not mean that some unscrupulous worker will not try to convince the patient to wear diapers.

And now, the why of it. Why do these workers do this? There are a few different reasons why workers do this. And by now, they have gotten so used to convincing patients to wear diapers that they don't even realize that what they are doing is wrong. They sometimes convince themselves that they are doing this for the patients' good yet, in truth, they are doing this for themselves and for their institution. Here is the scenario. The nursing homes, are, without argument, over crowded and there is not sufficient staff to properly run the nursing homes. If there was, then these workers wouldn't be trying to use diapers on patients that clearly do not need diapers. The staff does not have enough help. They do not have enough workers. And because they do not have enough workers, they rush. And when patients call to go to the bathroom, usually patients have to wait and wait and wait for someone to answer their call.

Sometimes a patient can wait for hours, yes for hours and no one answers their call. And this is how patients learn that using diapers in some of the larger institutions might be more convenient, and might be easier on them. They just give in. Instead of making complaints to the nursing home, they just give in and say that they will wear the diapers. But if the staff would come to their aid when they call, patients would never agree to wear diapers. I am not talking of those that medically need the diapers; I am talking about the thousands, yes, thousands of those that do not medically need diapers but those people are asked or demanded to use diapers while they stay in the nursing home. If patients were free to speak about this, you would see the truth. Yet, patients and residents only feel free to speak about this after they leave the nursing homes. Problem is, most never get to leave and some even die in the nursing home and the patients hold the secret forever. They won't complain because they are afraid of repercussions; the families won't complain because they are afraid of how their family members will be treated. Kindly note that this article is about unnecessary diapers, not about those diapers which are medically necessary. Yes, some patients and residents do medically need those diapers. However, more often then not, there are thousands of patients that are in diapers for the mere convenience of the staff and of the nursing home and rehabilitation centers.

If you have had a good or bad experience inside a nursing home or rehab center, do contact us to share your ideas or your experiences. This article was updated in November, 2012.


Source by Melinda Thomas


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