This article is a bellwether warning for older adults about who may and may not be offered a bed in a nursing home in a society with an epidemic morbid obesity. As the authors summarize:
“Obesity is redrawing the common imagery of old age: The slight nursing home resident is giving way to the obese senior, hampered by diabetes, disability and other weight-related ailments. Facilities that have long cared for older adults are increasingly overwhelmed — and unprepared — to care for this new group of morbidly heavy patients.
As a result, nursing homes across the country are routinely declining referrals from hospitals seeking to transfer obese patients, creating dilemmas for hospital staff members tasked with safely discharging those ready to leave.”
What is also clear from the article, no one at this point has a viable alternative for a refusal to accept a transfer.