Nursing Homes

Image of Amanda Holliday with her grandmother Celeste Sawyer.
Amanda Holliday

Many kids grow up spending time after school with other kids in their neighborhood playing pick-up soccer, videogames or capture the flag. 

The state's nursing homes and elder care facilities are improving, according to a new study.
SalFalko / Flickr

After a hospital stay, many seniors on Medicare will go to a nursing facility to rehabilitate before going home. But a new study from Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill and the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence shows many of them return to the hospital before long.

Mark Toles teaches at UNC's Nursing school and is a co-author of the report. He said nursing homes often provide good care, but the transition back home can be difficult.

Elderly senior citizen hand on cane
Meena Kadri, Flickr, Creative Commons

Regulators who oversee quality at the state's long-term care facilities depend on trained volunteers to visit assisted-living and nursing homes and report back about conditions. But there are ongoing vacancies on the citizen advisory committees in the Triangle.

Dennis Streets is the director of the state health department division on Aging and Adult services. He said the job is more important than ever.

The state's nursing homes and elder care facilities are improving, according to a new study.
SalFalko / Flickr

North Carolina has reduced its rate of antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes by 23 percent over the last year-- that's the highest such improvement rate in the country.

Many nursing homes and adult care homes have been known to use antipsychotic drugs to help calm and control residents who have dementia. But overmedication can cause all sorts of problems for patients who are so drugged they can't participate in activities and who might fall because the drugs impair their coordination. Bob Konrad is a professor in health policy at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

The state's nursing homes and elder care facilities are improving, according to a new study.
SalFalko / Flickr

A nationwide study of nursing homes says North Carolina's facilities are improving. 

A survey commissioned by the federal government shows more nursing homes scored higher on a five-star health rating system in 2011 than in 2009.  The number of stars awarded is based on health inspections, the amount of staff at each home, and quality-of-life measures. 

When James Clark retired as an English professor from North Carolina State University, he wasn't done teaching. He went from the classroom to the retirement home, where he taught the elderly how to share their experiences with family and friends through creative writing.