Over the last decade, the nursing home industry has seen a sharp increase in long-term care patients with obesity. Today, about 30% of all nursing home patients are considered clinically obese (read more here). Between 2010 and 2015 alone, the prevalence of obesity in adults 60 years and older increased from 9.9 million (23.6%) to 22.2 million (37.0%) in 2010. The question is: are nursing homes across the United States prepared to meet this demand?
Not necessarily. Medicaid, which covers more than half of all nursing home patients, does not reimburse long-term care facilities for the specialized equipment needed to accommodate overweight patients. The importance of bariatric care in the nursing home industry grows every day, and it’s getting harder to find facilities that treat these issues expertly.
So what is bariatric care, and how does Absolut Care approach it?
Bariatric care is a medically-managed, muti-disciplinary approach to weight-loss and obesity-related ailments for clinically obese individuals.
These are the four core tenets of bariatric care:
- Nutritional Programs
Residents receiving bariatric care can expect to work with a specialized dietary staff to develop a diet plan for weight loss. Under the direction of a Registered Dietitian, patients will learn healthy food choices, portion control, preparation techniques, snacking tips, and how to navigate dining-out and holiday foods.
- Social Work Services
Obesity is often coupled with sadness, anxiety, and depression. To meet this need, bariatric care can include counseling services to provide support for those adjusting to a new and healthier lifestyle.
- Physical and Occupational Therapy
In addition to a nutritional plan, physical therapy is also used to improve the resident’s strength, mobility, endurance, and independence. Residents receiving bariatric care can expect to receive various forms of subacute treatments in conjunction with a conventional exercise plan to regain physical health and autonomy.
Lastly, bariatric patients need nurses! Residents can count on nurses to administer medication, treatment, specialized wound care, and beyond for those struggling with obesity.
If you or a loved one is in search of a long-term care facility with a comprehensive bariatric care treatment plan, Absolut Care is here to help. Contact us here for more information on how our Advanced Bariatric Care program is different from other programs in New York.