AAFP hosts keynote address on problems with nursing home operations
Gawande’s book is about the operations of nursing homes. He discusses why they were made and why these institutions fail to fulfill the needs of senior citizens. These nursing homes, where countless people live, do not value how residents want to spend their last years or care how residents live their lives up to that point.
The book cites cases of patients who have dementia and diabetes who were not allowed comfort foods because of potential safety concerns, restricted from overall freedoms and disconnected from their pets.
Some see the examples in the book -- as well as the book itself -- as an element of a larger problem with communities and the health industry. One such example occurred when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided housing alternatives to people suffering from serious flooding in West Virginia, but the housing did not offer the familiarity and autonomy the victims needed. Some health care providers have told patients to argue with their sub-specialists, refuse treatments and choose their own paths for their health care.
These trends suggest a larger problem in health care: paying doctors according to rates of certain tests causes them to force patients to receive treatments they don’t want or need. More important is patient-centered care, which improves a community’s overall health in lasting ways.
Organizations in this story
American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS - 66211