Multiple Moves Dangerous to Senior Health

You think moving your elderly parents to an assisted living facility is a good idea, that it will get them some help taking care of day-to-day tasks and place them near medical assistance if the need should arise. However, this isn't always the case. It's not uncommon for seniors to move several times in a short period after a medical issue arises.

Multiple Moves, Multiple Health Problems

Such frequent moves are not only disruptive and confusing to the people involved, but they increase the risk of vital health information not being relayed properly to the new facility.

In a New York Times report, Dr. Malaz Boustani, a geriatrician at the Healthy Aging Brain Center in Indianapolis, says that he regularly sees older patients that have made three or four unnecessary moves within a six-month period. Boustani compares the patients' medical information moving from one facility to the next to the children's' game of telephone, a game where the end result is barely recognizable compared to the original phrase. Unfortunately, many older patients are not in the mental condition to correct any errors in their medical information after a move.

What Can Be Done?

Boustani suggests families hire or appoint one family member as a transition coach, a person that will oversee the transmittal of vital medical information and make sure that all prescriptions are communicated to a new health facility. He also recommends that families become familiar with their area's aging services and be willing to use them if and when a need arises.

Families are also encouraged to start planning long in advance and make sure that any prospective home can adequately meet the needs of their family member. As Dr. Philip Sloane, associate chairman of the family medicine department at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine notes in the Times report, multiple moves are often the result of one facility's inability to meet the individual's needs.

Working With an Attorney

While health concerns often arise when elderly people move from one facility to another, falls, bedsores and other injuries occur too often in long-term care homes. If your loved one has been hurt while staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important to contact an attorney to review your case.