Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Letter From a Nursing Home Adminsistrator

Insulting comments about nursing homes

On my way home from my 9 PM meeting with my 3-11 nursing staff, I by chance and misfortune was subjected to your radio show. Your comment " nursing homes have no incentive to not kill people" is insulting to me, my staff and tens of thousands of long term care workers in this nation. My staff routinely do the thankless task of providing direct care and compassion to the elderly that our society disregards. You demonize, humiliate and insult honest and hard working people that in many cases are the only family residents in nursing homes have.

Yet with disregard and callousness you crush the spirit of people that do a thankless task. Are there workers in this industry that cause harm, yes. As there is in every profession.

This is not to minimize the problem but your comments come from what is obviously an uninformed opinion. Have you ever spend a day, an 8 hour shift, one hour in a nursing home. Have you ever tried to toilet, bath or dress a resident who is so confused that they strike you, kick you or spit at you. This is what these thankless nurse, nursing assistants or dozens of other workers do everyday. I would like to invite you to visit our facility or any facility to understand what happens at a nursing home.

Edwin Rojas, NHA
Nursing Home Administrator


Before you put on your righteousness suit and go saying the author is mis informed,calloused or just plan stupid, perhaps you are a bit mis informed yourself! Do you know that Medicaid has spent more money on anti psychotic drugs for Americans than on any other class of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, AIDS drugs or medicine to treat high-blood pressure.”

Do you know that Nursing homes in the US are known as warehouses for the old and operate for profit and that According to survey data obtained from CMS and posted on :
http://www.memberofthefamily.net/qitrends , a registered nurse spends anywhere from 1/2 an hour to an hour per resident, with a total of 1.5 to 5 hours nursing care supervision per resident. A day has 24 hours - that lives a wide gap, doesn’t it?

Do you know that chemically restraining a patient is common and accepted practice in most nursing homes because of the pressure to improve profit and keep staff costs down.

How about my friends like Dr.Robert Sarhan who is terrified they are killing his mother who is locked away in a forced guardianship and cries out for her son, so she is being given Seroquel to keep her docile in spite that these drugs are dangerous and are not for use in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia because they have caused fatal heart attack and stroke in older adults with dementia-related conditions and may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth.

Do you know that a disproportionate number of debilitating falls occur in nursing homes and that if the drugs don't get you the falls will ?

You say "Have you ever tried to toilet, bath or dress a resident who is so confused that they strike you, kick you or spit at you."
Could it be that these patients are given so many drugs that they are confused?
Could it be that these patients are irate because they miss their families and some of them have being confined against their will, under forced guardianships and do not want to be there?

In a video taken in the Domincan Republic at a NOT for profit nursing home that the residents appear happy and they neither spit nor kick at you! Also notice that patients are NOT given anti psychotic drugs and appear neither slumped over nor confused.

I found it interesting that I was welcomed to take pictures, How so un like the warehouses in the US that do no want people to see how we treat our elders!

When was the last time you took your elder patients to a nice picnic at the beach or the park?

Perhaps if you started treating these people with the dignity and respect the deserve and stop drugging them to increase your bottom line,

Perhaps they would then stop spitting and kicking at you .

Perhaps you should recognize that these people and their families have legitimate complaints, because our parents are more that a way for your corp to make your CEO's and Masters X-mas bonus.

Please do see the video"Perhaps you are part of the other 'America' and perhaps it is you that do not understand the concerns and desperation that our throw away elders and their families through Guardianships and forced drugging and separations find themselves in.

No comments: