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A University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor hospital study suggests simple measures could reduce multi-drug-resistant infections in nursing homes.

Dr. Lona Mody says there's much at stake for nursing home residents, as well as others.

"Nursing home patients may be transferred back to the hospital for a problem or for an acute illness,  and bring that organism with them to the hospital," says Mody.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s been a big jump in the number of elderly people making living wills and other end-of-life directives.

Dr. Maria Silveira is a University of Michigan researcher. She says between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of elderly Americans with living wills or who gave a loved one power of attorney in health matters rose from 47% to 72%.

Silveira says the change may reflect different generational attitudes.

“I think this generation of older folks, Baby Boomers in particular, are more inclined to take charge,” says Silveira.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

AARP is out with a proposal this week that calls for targeting state Medicaid dollars to fund at-home care. The senior citizen advocacy group says the state could care for three people at home for the cost of one patient in a nursing home. 

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A community near Akron, Ohio opened a new playground last week - one specially designed for senior citizens.
    

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the playground consists of eight pieces of low-impact athletic equipment designed for older adults.
    

An advocacy group says many nursing homes patients in the state have experienced severe neglect and abuse.

The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service says one of the worst cases involves a resident who had to have maggots suctioned out of her throat, after she was taken to an emergency room because she was having trouble breathing.

Another resident had maggots infesting her body near her catheter.

But state officials said these are isolated cases, and most nursing homes do a good job caring for residents.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A new Michigan State University study finds more than one in five Michigan nursing home patients is neglected. 

 The study examined cases of physical neglect, in which the caregiver failed or refused to meet a resident’s needs of food, water, personal hygiene, clothing, medicine, shelter, personal safety or comfort.