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Why are nursing home deaths kept so quiet?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home in New Mexico, his or her well-being is probably a top priority. You may check in often and ensure he or she is treated well. You may also take joy in finding that your loved one is making friends and developing a support system within the nursing home of other residents. However, you may have run across a time when your loved one has lost a friend due to death. It might surprise you to learn nobody shared the details with the other residents or even made an announcement of the death. This is because deaths are usually handled very quietly and in secret.

According to Stat News, when a resident dies, nursing home staff usually remove the body late at night or early in the morning without letting the other residents know. They may not even tell the other residents the person died. A common response to questions is that the information is confidential or private. Residents wonder what happened because nobody told them anything.

This not only creates confusion but it also is very upsetting. Your loved one may suffer emotionally from being unable to say goodbye or to properly mourn. It could also increase the fear of what will happen when he or she dies.

One reason why the secrecy may occur is purely motivated by money. Many nursing homes restrict memorials to once every few months or a couple times a year because that is all they can afford to do. Having a memorial every time a resident dies is expensive, and insurance rarely pays for such things. Even grief counseling is often not covered by insurance. Furthermore, many nursing homes are understaffed. They simply do not have the time for countless memories or even being able to offer extra attention and care to those who lose a friend. It is easier to gloss over the event than deal with it head on hence the secrecy. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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