Kaiser Health News investigated the problems associated with caring for an increasingly obese population of patients in nursing homes, with one of the major risks being workplaces injuries among nurses. The percentage of those entering American nursing homes who are moderate and severely obese – with a body mass index of 35 or greater – has risen sharply, to nearly 25 percent in 2010 from 14.7 percent in 2000. In addition to the lack of available beds that accommodate larger patients, KHN explains: “Daily personal needs require monumental coordination. One nurse can help a resident of normal weight dress and sit in a chair within 15 minutes, with a bariatric patient, that takes an hour with two certified nursing assistants…the possibility of staff injuries and higher workers’ compensation costs” are also stated reasons for the problem.
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