Rising Obesity Rates Put Strain on Nursing Homes

Angie SzumlinskiUncategorized

BAY, Ala. — At 72, her gray hair closely shorn, her days occupied by
sewing and television, Wanda Chism seems every bit a typical nursing
home patient — but for her size.

Chism is severely obese, unable to leave her bed without a mechanical
lift and a team of nurses. She has not walked in years. Her life is
circumscribed by the walls of her room.

Obesity is redrawing the common imagery of old age: The slight nursing home resident is giving way to the obese senior, hampered by diabetes, disability and other weight-related ailments. Facilities that have long cared for older adults are increasingly overwhelmed — and unprepared — to care for this new group of morbidly heavy patients.

“The population is shifting faster than the ability of nursing homes to deal with them,” said Cheryl Phillips, a senior vice president at LeadingAge,
an association of nonprofit providers of services for older adults. “We
don’t have adequate staff. We don’t have adequate equipment. We don’t
have adequate knowledge.”


Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/health/rising-obesity-rates-put-strain-on-nursing-homes.html?_r=0