Is all this therapy for grandmother’s benefit or the nursing home’s bottom line?Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published a study about dying patients in nursing homes and found that dying patients are often pushed into very-high (approximately 9 hours per week) intensity and ultra-high (approximately 12 hours per week) intensity rehab exercises. Thomas Caprio, M.D co-author of the study, has said that “These are often sick and frail patients in whom the risks of intensive levels of rehabilitation actually outweighs the benefits.”
All the researchers agreed “that some rehab is needed at the end of life, though more commonly of the low or intermediate variety.” Whenever possible talk to your loved ones and watch their care. Talk to the providers and ask the questions: Why this therapy necessary? What are the benefits? The risks?
According to Helena Temkin-Greener, the other co-author of the study, for-profit nursing homes use high and ultra-high therapy twice as often as non-profit nursing homes. These treatments are utilized so that the nursing homes can maximize their revenue. She went on to pose this question, “If ultrahigh therapy is good for patients at end of life, why are only for-profits using it? These people are using high-intensity services without justification.”
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and the frequency or intensity of rehab is concerning, or you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, call the Nancy C. Iler Law Firm at 216-696-5700.


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