Forum explores issue of abuse of people with disabilities

Nancy Smith first noticed something missing from existing programs on domestic and sexual violence when she was working at an Ohio YWCA in 2001.

While collaborating with an independent living center near the YWCA, she learned that almost every person the organization was serving — people with disabilities in the community — had a history of sexual violence.

“I was stunned,” Smith said. She had a master’s degree in women’s studies, worked with survivors of sexual assault and studied oppression of women and people of color, but said she had “never, ever thought about domestic and sexual violence against people with disabilities.”

Few nursing homes adjust care for obese patients

Nearly 25 percent of people entering nursing homes are moderately or severely obese, and that number is expected to grow.

Nursing home staff, who are already often overworked, are having trouble handling these patients and special needs that the facilities aren’t equipped to provide for, reports Kaiser Health News.

Law on cameras in nursing homes and what to do if you want one

Pennsylvania does not have a law on cameras in nursing homes. The state defaults to federal guidelines that protect the dignity and privacy of nursing-home residents, but they do not address the use of cameras. If you want the state to address this one way or the other, contact:

Your local ombudsman program or the state ombudsman. Here’s a list of contact information by county. Wilmarie Gonzalez, the state long-term care ombudsman, can be reached at 717-783-8975.

Resources for finding the right nursing home

Search Pennsylvania nursing homes by location, size and ownership on the Nursing Care Facility Locator Page, provided by the PA Department of Health. It includes inspections, payment options and nursing hours per resident. The Pennsylvania Health Care Association’s Facility Finder allows users to search for a facility by location and type of long-term care, as well as by specialized services, like adult day care, dementia care and dialysis. Use ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect application to search inspection reports for issues that matter to you, like pressure sores or emergency plans. Nursing Home Compare, developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS], is another way to search for ratings and quality measures of nursing homes throughout the country. 
CMS also has a guide to choosing the right nursing home and information on how to file a complaint. 
The National Institute on Aging also has a guide on choosing a nursing home and paying for it.