New Nursing Home Philosophy: Limit Time in Wheelchairs

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- You can see it at most long-term care centers -- residents in wheelchairs lining hallways, just sitting or rolling slowly down the hall.

But a health service director at a Durham center says it's time to stop parking older people in wheelchairs.

Leslie Jarema of The Forest at Duke says in the old-school nursing homes, people are sitting around the nurses' station and asking for help because they are uncomfortable.

The Midwest-based group called GROW, or Get Residents Out of Wheelchairs, has taken up the cause on a national level. The nonprofit urges nursing homes to help residents use regular chairs, couches, recliners. The group, which has asked Jarema to speak about her approach at The Forest at Duke, also tries to get residents to be as active as possible, encouraging walking to meals, going on foot to the bathroom or shower and taking outside walks with family and friends when possible.

Alzheimer's Society Comment On Rights, Risks And Restraints,

Anyone reading this report will draw a sharp intake of breath at some of the appalling examples of restraint, in many cases involving people with dementia.

It is devastating to hear of vulnerable people not being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

CSCI's report is right to acknowledge that often there isn't simply one place to lay blame for this abuse, as it is partly a result of an overstretched and under resourced system.

It's all too easy to think that restraint is about belts and shackles. In fact restraint goes far wider: from the thousands of people with dementia being sedated by the inappropriate use of anti psychotic drugs to people being denied access to outdoor space because of a lack of staff in care homes.

Many of the horrendous stories of abuse in the report occurred because of care staff's lack of understanding and training in dementia care. Alzheimer's Society's recent Home from Home report echoed these experiences and we believe mandatory dementia training for staff in all care settings would begin to tackle the huge variation in dementia care.

This report makes tough reading for any involved in or using older people's care services. It should provide a wake up call that we can no longer leave people in the front line of care to cope alone without adequate resources; proper inspection and regulation; and specialist dementia training.


- The All Party Group in Dementia has announced an inquiry into the overuse of anti psychotic drug treatments in care homes.

- Alzheimer's Society spokespeople are available for comment.

- 700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer's disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051. 1 in 6 people over 80 have dementia.

- The Alzheimer's Society is the leading care and research charity for people with all forms dementia and their carers. It provides information and education, support for carers, and quality day and home care. It funds medical and scientific research and campaigns for improved health and social services and greater public understanding of dementia.

- The Alzheimer's Society provides a national help line on 0845 3000 336 and website