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Centerpointe Research

“Zombies” In Nursing Homes

We have a long history being unable or unwilling to meet the needs of older and even younger people with disabilities without warehousing them in nursing homes.  Yes, there are standards of care that these homes must meet; but people often only want to provide minimum standards of care so that the home will be reimbursed.

Recently a friend of mine was admitted to a nursing home and I have visited there several times.  The thing that I noticed on my visits there were the people who looked like “zombies”.  Previously I had only seen people who were catatonic schizophrenics that looked like “zombies.”

The people I saw in the nursing homes were neatly dressed and had their hair nicely combed, but they sat silently and immobile in a chair or wheelchair.  At mealtimes, their chairs were moved so that they sat up next to the table.  These women and men posed no problems as long as they remained that way.

They had joined the troop of the forgotten.  They caused no trouble for the staff and would stay anywhere the staff had put them.  I guess you could call them the living dead or “zombies.”  It seemed like they had just given up and the staff saw them that way too.

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