It Really Sucks to Be Old in Texas

Categories: Healthcare

ElderlyWomanInGlasses.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
In a national report released yesterday by the AARP, findings rank each state in terms of long term care for the elderly. The report considers such factors as nursing home affordability and accessibility, family support, and quality of life and care. The upshot?

It sucks to get old in Texas.

The state places 30th in general long-term care and services for the elderly, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. But perhaps most telling are the specific rankings, which rank Texas ranks next to last in quality of care and life in nursing homes.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the low rankings. For one, Texas has the highest turnover rate for nursing staff. It's not exactly clear why exactly there is such a shortage of qualified staff, but a recently released report from the Sunset Advisory Commission detailed the lack of qualified personnel:

DSHS' [Department of State Health Services] turnover rates were highest for psychiatric nursing assistants and licensed vocational nurses, both at 33 percent in the same year. The 83rd Legislature appropriated funds for a targeted salary increase for psychiatric nursing assistants at state mental health hospitals and reallocated the licensed vocational nurse job classification series to higher salary groups, but the impact of those changes remains to be seen.

In Texas, more long-term nursing home residents receive antipsychotic medication than in any other state. And Texas is second to last in new nursing home stays that last more than 100 days. With such a shortage of nurses, staff may be overburdened and easily taxed by stressful situations.

Melissa Gale, spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), did not discuss what, specifically, the department intends to do to address the abysmal ranking. She did say in an email that the department regularly conducted impromptu inspections of nursing home facilities and was actively working with legislators and law enforcers to ensure a higher standard of living in nursing home facilities. "If we find nursing facilities are violating regulations and not meeting their obligations to residents, we hold them accountable to the extent allowed by state and/or federal law," she wrote.

The AARP report comes just in time: The Sunset Advisory Commission will convene for a public hearing next week concerning the efforts made by the Department of Aging and Disability Services to regulate nursing homes. But maybe start buttering up to your out-of-state progeny, just in case.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
30 comments
rusknative
rusknative

AARP IS BASTION OF LIBERALS...Texas is Red state.  thus the analysis. Emily, you are an idiot.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

The Money talk is important . 

Actually dealing with the situation as in someones own DAD or MOM is mind numbing and a thankless task. If they didn't/don't  have their house financial ( right back to the money and so quick) and otherwise the situation will be very stressful to those left to deal with it.Issues  you thought were gone with childhood come rushing back in as you and the have to sit down with siblings and decide things Lots of things and they are the same as they were when you all lived in the same house . This is like FAMILY Game night on STEROIDS and its GAME OF LIFE Being played for real.

Those of you who still can need to gather everyone around ..Yes everyone even the ones who don't want to be there. Because you don't want them rushing in and screwing the plans up. 

Find out what MOM and DAD have and Make MOM and DAD sign off on what is going to happen  NOW so that it is the way they want things.Not you having rush  to find a stroked out mom or dad a place be cared for that isn't The Man cave or Game room.At your house

The Bonus is not having to deal with the theatrics of the Drama King and Queen who will fight everyone one the slightest issue. But can't be bothered to really care for them.


They will be there count on it. However signed papers trump angst and fit pitching.


MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

The article wanders from short term nursing care to assisted care to long term nursing care.  The three are separate with different finances, customers and providers.  I would expect few people end up at state mental health facilities that have most state involvement.  With other providers, you get what you spend money.  You can mandate lots of things, but the facilities will close if they cannot make a profit.  It is a compromise.


For people that think let Feds pay, be aware President Obama's team tried a plan that collapsed within a year.  The costs were too big and no one signed up for the insurance plan.  Before it got out of control, HHS killed it and has no plans for another.  Even President Obama's team could stomach the massive taxes required.  That tells you the size of the issue. 

When you get old you do:

- buy private insurance starting in your 50's when healthy

- save money in IRA/401K/HSA (100's of thousands) in case

- eventually use up all assets and go on Medicare nursing home.


Regulation is one step, but don't think a lot of rules will make everything fine.  Overregulate and you will have elders with no place to go.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

It must suck to work at the Dallas Observer, with the exception of Gavin, Scott and Alice, all you people do is whine about shit.


I bet Alice wants to punch you all in the junk at least 10 times a day....

JackJett
JackJett

Not sure if this is true or not but when looking for a home for our mom, someone told us that homes that have more medicare patients can be trusted more than those with more private pay patients.  Supposedly because Medicare has strict guidelines and will pull the plug on funding those homes with too many complaints.  

I do agree that in priorities of giving money to social services, that the elderly should be at the top of the receiving line.  A woman who is single and decides to have a child better have the financial funding to see that child through.  

As said here already, the money these homes pay their staff is criminal for the level of work they do and what is expected.   I noticed in my Moms case the good ones never lasted.  I also noticed things like an assistant on her second day on the job was tasked with passing our medications.  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

if Texas were more like Europe, one good heat wave would solve a lot of problems.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Great, another one of these stupid "scorecards" that measures the wrong thing.  I looked at the "quality of life" part, and it measures nothing of sort.  Like the rest of the card, it just measures how much money is spent..  


This scorecard doesn't measure whether or not it "sucks to be old in Texas."  It measures whether or not you can get rich running a nursing home or hospital in Texas.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

Most nursing home residents are on Medicaid, and the reimbursement rates are paltry in Texas. 

James080
James080

AARP is an insurance company posing as an advocate for the elderly. If I were a lawmaker, I would give no weight to any report produced by AARP. 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Unless you are very wealthy all nursing homes suck (draw a distinction between nursing home and assisted living).   Usually the staff does the best they can but the work is neither pleasant nor well paid.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Just another unfortunate outcome when society abandons the family unit in favor of redistribution.

Baby mammas and narcissists don't take care of a daddy that never was. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Texas does well in directing dollars towards the in-home choice - 16th, as opposed to Florida's 43rd, for instance.

Elder care is just about the worst job for low pay you can find, so it helps to have the residents happily stoned and watching Alex Trebec if they want to reduce turnover.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This is just another sad reminder that our elected officials have very little regard for the care of Texas citizens.  They hold corporations in high esteem, but treat human beings as if they were throw away objects. 

theslowpath
theslowpath

Is an old people rally like an autocross rally? I bet it rally is. 

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@oakclifftownie  If scientific proof for Karma exists, you will find it in family actions regarding long term care.  You MIGHT see your life pass by just before you die.  You WILL revisit every slight, every perception of favoritism, every hurt accumulated over a lifetime if you do not plan for this event years ahead of time.  My parents did it the right way.  I have seen our relatives' parents do it the wrong way.  Do it the wrong way and you create new pain and hurt, on top of old pain and hurt, that will last into next generation. 


Long Term Care is where you learn that, per quote from Bad Boys film, few of us are the Cosbys.

clickproductions.con
clickproductions.con

Money in IRA ok, but most 401s never provide the income needed since 70% of retirees take SS as 60% of their total income. 401 is great if you are in the Oil & Gas Big Gubment subsidy as your subsidized Group Health Plan. Bushes did not destroy my pension plan.

In Baby Bush's 8 disastrous years, you lost $.25 on each $1.00 invested.

Not good for 401s and IRAs.

You have my sympathy.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@JackJett  From personal experience I think the opposite.  People spending own money on care are better guardians of service delivered.  Those Medicare patients are by definition flat broke, really flat broke in comparison to Hilary Clinton definition.  They are usually least able to force satisfactory service.  Don't think some HHS inspector will make everything right.

JackJett
JackJett

@James080 So true.  As I am just coming into my AARP phase, I assumed they were the official leader of the aging but in fact they are ....we I am not totally sure what they are at this point.  I know they send a shitload of mail on a daily basis.  I know that when my friends start getting their share to go through a bout of depression.  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@theslowpath

Is an old people rally like an autocross rally?

Nope. In an old people rally, last one across the finish line wins.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@clickproductions.con


The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans


Hey, Cheney; where's that cheap oil you promised?  And what about that $100 billion cost you predicted.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@MikeWestEast  Mike, you are confusing Medicare with Medicaid.  Medicaid pays for the broke and indigent, at very low daily reimbursement rates.  Medicare does not cover long-term care, although it will cover up to 20 days per year at a skilled nursing facility under certain conditions.

James080
James080

@JackJett @James080 

My guess is that following the release of this report, AARP will be send out mass mailings offering "low cost" long term nursing care INSURANCE to it's members.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...