OPEN LETTER TO IN-PATIENT REHABILITATION HOMES- DO YOU THINK YOU COULD ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE WHO NEED YOU?

This is My Open Letter to In-Patient Rehabilitation Homes and it’s Employees for Taking In my Husband and Then Ignoring him for 5 Days!

This picture resembles the decor of the nursing home.

This picture resembles the decor of the nursing home.

 

I haven’t written on my blog for awhile.  As some of you know, in the last few months, my husband has suffered a stroke and a couple of weeks ago, he had a total knee replacement.

As he had some setbacks with his knee operation, he was falling behind on the rehabilitation that was needed and the staff told me to visit Nursing Homes/In-Patient facilities and check out which one I was interested in order for him to get more physical training and to work more on his knee.  I was given 24 hours to find which one I wanted him to go to.  They gave me a list of places near our home.

It was over 100 degrees that day when I went to check out the first Nursing Home.  After giving them an hour’s notice that I would be there, I got there in about 20 minutes. The first building I went to had a woman at a desk on the phone in a locked  office.  I couldn’t get in the housing part because that door also was locked. The woman looked at me and continued a conversation on her phone. She definitely saw me. It then took me 15 minutes walking around in the heat only  to find out that was the right place.

womanonphone

I finally went back to her and she said innocently “ Oh are you the one who called? Let me show you around.” Knowing I would never put my husband in the hands of such a jerk, I thought to myself…take the tour..maybe it’s really good.  It wasn’t in any way!

The patients were in a circle listening to someone playing an accordion. It was like ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. My husband would never go in there.  It was so depressing that I didn’t want to see the rest of the place.

.One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest

The next nursing home was better and I loved the person in charge. However, they didn’t have any single rooms and I knew my husband would go crazy with a roommate. (Or make them crazy.)

The third place (which had been mentioned to me as the best) looked like a spa.  You walk in and you feel like you’ve walked into the Plaza. Gorgeous! Concierge style with a bistro and a gorgeous dining room. There was a nursing station for each section which looked like about 15 rooms.  No nurse looked over 25 years old.

Each room had a nice bed, a place where I could sleep at night, I could bring our dog to visit.  The problem was that we had tried this place 2 years ago when it first opened and my husband needed nursing care.

Back then,  in the first hour after he was checked in,  I went to retrieve my car from the hospital and come back to this gorgeous place, only to find him laying on the floor.  They had him on a single bed that did not have the brake on and with no bars on the bed. Also, in all that time, nobody had checked in on him to know that he was on the floor. I was really screaming at them. With great hope that in 2 years, they’d ironed out the wrinkles and praying that it was now a better place, I took a leap of faith.

Once again, I fell  for the  glitz.

I was there every day with my husband for 5 days and I noticed a pattern. The more you yelled and screamed, the more attention they would give my husband. I am not being hyperbolic:  I wouldn’t let my dog stay in a place like this!

My husband needed a lot of care. He could not even take one step on his own when he went there this time. They tell you to call them with this little button when you need to get to the bathroom or need medication, etc. Sure they answered. About 20 minutes too late.

He was given 1 shower in 5 days. I would have given it to him, but there was no way I could do it safely and forget about shaving at all.

He was given 1 PT session in 5 days.

When he needed a pain pill – he would be lucky to be seen within an hour,

The doctor saw him in passing one day and never came back  to see him.

This was so horrifying that I knew that he would be in trouble.

The 5th day, his knee was 3 times larger along with his leg being extremely swollen. I was really worried about infection or gangrene as it looked really infected. Itwas leaking pus.  My husband’s daughter , Kay, also saw this and agreed that we didn’t have a lot of time to fool around with this.

We  went to the nursing station at about 4:00 pm and asked what was going on. They really had nothing to say except that the doctor would be in after 6:00 p.m. and they would take more tests the next morning. We’d been down that route before.

This image is a great look at what my husband’s arm looked like after they tried to take care of an IV wound he got in the first hospital.

womanwithbruisedarm

 

Kay came at the nurses like a trial attorney:  Why hasn’t anyone been in to see her dad? Why was the care so loosey goosey? How long before he was to take these tests?  Every answer was ‘tomorrow.’ We could not wait another 24 hours for the tests to come back and the stupid doctor to make his appearance, if ever.

Meanwhile, these ‘nurses’ were socializing and hanging out at the nurses’ station.

The one thing I knew about this knee surgery was to NOT GET AN INFECTION!

We then proceeded to call an ambulance and get him back to the hospital ER.

By the way, nobody from that ‘home’ ever called to ask why we had suddenly left their place in an ambulance.

The ER doctor  said that my husband did have a minor infection and after being discharged, we proceeded to get him taken back to our home with antibiotics.  I figured that he, at least, had someone that knew what to look for and we would have more PT, someone to give him a shower, and, most of all, he would be in his own home.

Every person in a nursing home needs an advocate,” says Maryglenn Boals, a former nursing home administrator in Arizona. “When you are serving that many people, there are going to be mistakes. There is always going to be little things that happen. So every resident needs his own ‘squeaky wheel

So, what happens to people who have no advocate? I wouldn’t even want to know,

I’m not suggesting for every person to drag their loved one out of a nursing home.  I knew, however, that my husband’s circumstances would do better at home.

So, it’s been about a week since we brought him home.

I turned our place into basically a Hospital Room. We have a place for all his pills, all his wound dressing is laid out on our dining room table.

He is steadily getting better with the help of a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist and a man to help him get in and out of the shower.

So.., glitzy Nursing Home, I entrusted you with my husband and you didn’t care. You didn’t care if he was clean; you didn’t care if he had help when he needed it, you didn’t care about anything except having a Nursing Home look like a spa retreat.  All glamour and nothing of any substance.

You failed. I am giving you a negative rating on Yelp and I hope to save someone else who thinks their loved one will be in good hands.

Shame on you! I hope someone in your family that you love doesn’t ever need to go to your  nursing home!

Tovah

Additional Resources:

CANHR – California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform; Nursing Home  Care Standards

Choosing the Right Nursing Home by AARP.org

 

 

 


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2 thoughts on “OPEN LETTER TO IN-PATIENT REHABILITATION HOMES- DO YOU THINK YOU COULD ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE WHO NEED YOU?

  1. robin

    Hi Tovah, I had wondered what had happened to you then I noticed that your blog somehow got deleted from my bloglovin list. So, I missed your last few blogs. Glad to hear you are still smoke free. Congratulations! Sorry to hear about your husband and the nursing home ordeal. I hear these kinds of stories all the time. It’s not just in AZ. A lot of families are opting for in home care and have some one come to their home. It used to be only the wealthy could afford this but now insurances are finding it is cheaper and better for the patient. Pray that your husband is recovering well. Caregiving is not an easy job and burnout is common, so please remember to take care of yourself. Talk soon. Robin

    Reply
    1. Tovah Post author

      Hi Robin:

      I’ve really missed hearing from you. Glad you’re back to reading my blog.
      We’re still not smoking, but there has been so much stress in the last month, I’m surprised that I’m not craving a cigarette more than I am.

      As for my husband being home, he was doing really well while we had a small team of therapists helping him.

      All would have been well but he had emergency gallbladder surgery and had to rushed to the hospital.

      In the meantime, I’ve been rather unwell and we’re just trying to hold each other up now.

      So glad to hear from you and I hope all is well.
      Tovah

      Reply

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