On a personal level I found the issue to have several levels that need scrutiny. Yes, it is appropriate to expect a profit when running an elder care institute, but this article makes it seem that there is very little outside of the profit margin that provides incentive for these companies to make anything better. I found this element to be troubling. If the companies are not induced to changed course due to the pressure of the mounting lawsuits, what will it take to ensure that the elderly are properly taken care of?
A second component of this article that I find deeply concern is the prospect that the lawyers, those that the elderly truly need to find recourse, are taking advantage of the situation and in many cases finding more profit than the patient in need. Again, this strikes me as an indictment of the process and the need for a system that does not profit those that can afford to buy the help. What happens when a patient is left in doubt due to the fact that the legal team involved received more of a payout than the intended party? This strikes me as a field ripe for corruption, which in turn only provides an incentive to continue the issues in order to produce a continuous source of easy litigation.
The final element of this article that serves to increase the need for oversight is the developing practice of blaming the process for increasing costs of care. By targeting the very lawsuits meant to bring a fair settlement to those in need there is a means of reducing the incentive to file these suits thereby returning all power to the company, which in turn is driven by profit and revenue generation. With only a bare oversight element, there is every expectation for elder abuse to not only occur but to evolve and become accepted in the industry.
This article brought out a negative reaction towards those surrounding and in charge of our elderly population, alongside a personal drive need to ensure that change is made on a public level. With a substantial portion of the population having loved ones entering elderly care institutions the means and method of care must be maintained and elevated. In the end, just as we are responsible for our elders, what we leave behind will take care of our generation; we will lie in the bed we make for ourselves.
Smith, J. (2014). Lawsuits Rattle Nursing-Home Chains. WSJ. Retrieved 8 October 2014, Wall Street Journal. from http://online.wsj.com/articles/lawsuits-rattle-nursing-home-chains-1412368400