Decision erodes dignity of nursing home residents

Published Jul 8, 2017 at 4:00pm

Some local nursing homes have recently made a decision to no longer supply pull-ups for residents, but instead supply only the bulky disposable diapers for their elderly population.

This is a decision based on the fact that the disposable diapers are considerably cheaper than the pull-ups. It seems to be the only factor considered.

I have a relative in one of these facilities who is only in her early 60s. She has maintained her independence in dressing and toileting and her personal dignity as well. Since the switch, she cannot fasten the disposable diapers without assistance. They are bulky and she doesn’t care for them - they erode her personal dignity.

From what I understand, the insurance, be it Medicaid or otherwise - gives the facility a bulk rate for each individual which covers incontinent products as well as other supplies. The fact that corporate has made the decision to cut corners with this particular issue to make more of a profit does not sit well with me.

I have spoken to the Department of Health (who has no input as to what incontinent products are used), the insurance carrier, administrator, the omboudsman for the facility, and have written a letter to the corporate owners. None of these avenues has been effective in changing the present situation.

By continuing to provide only the diapers and not pull-ups, the individuals affected are being forced into a higher level of care and an erosion of their personal dignity. This decision is disgraceful and should be reversed ASAP.

— Mary Anne Kahler,

1309 Utica St., Oriskany