Housing the Dead

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you reach the age that your family sends you off to a place that's called a "home", you'd be surprised at the treatment of your loved one's. What you're paying for, what Medicare pays for. It's no wonder your loved one does everything they can to prove that they CAN take care of themselves. You might want to listen to them and consider what it is they're afraid of. Because it is real and they've known it for a long time. Now I have experienced what they were afraid of all these years. This is what I saw:

Submitted: August 06, 2014

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Submitted: August 06, 2014

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Spending six years in nursing homes, due to health needs both physical and physiological, I have seen how they work. And from insiders I was told how they were supposed to work. The safety of the patients which was ideally at the top of the job list, unfortunately was pushed to the back seat by greed. I have been the witness of blatant and redundant abuse of our elderly. At times, I was sent away to psychiatric wards due to fabricated stories. Because of my sight, memory and ability to speak for those who couldn’t, it seemed.
“Nurses” whom tended to their diet rather than assist a resident in need of the bathroom was an ongoing problem for one female patient whom was there due to a stroke. A patient with dementia was verbally abused during his evening meal of fruit, while he was eating, for no apparent reason, at all. I sat in the corner wanting to act but knowing it wasn’t me who needed to. We are fed a diet that would leave an anorexic hungry. Thin slices of meat drowned in a generic gravy. Casseroles that would make a McDonalds  fry cook, puke.And always overcooked chicken. Yes, nobody will get sick and die but they will also not enjoy their lunch,either. And when we ask for more food, we are told to wait until snack time when we will have bestowed upon us, a half of a cheese sandwich. We are talked down to as if we are nobody’s loved one. And have no one to advocate for us. A perverted maintainance man showed a female resident pictures on his phone that were nothing short of criminal.  The administration stays away from us as if we have leprosy. Not wanting to dirty their designer clothes by touching our skin. 
The activity department makes BINGO and the same movie available but does nothing for the depleting cognitive skills of those that need help. It appears that the activity coordinator spends more time making happy looking signs and calendars. The patients unable to maneuver their wheel chairs, on their own, are pushed down the hall, with no regard, left to sit where they stop until the next meal or the next shift arrives. Physical therapy is repetitive and rarely achieves a set goal. And range of motion exercises are the most any patient gets. Outings are rare and reserved for patients treated as favorites, the easy to move or ambulatory. This seems to be standard operating procedure at the majority.
There is a serious disconnect between licensed nurses and their subordinates. Whom seem to do all the work while the medication nurses are afraid or just plain refuse to get their hands dirty.  Call lights are ignored or are turned off in the patients room without addressing the reason for the call. Requesting my wheelchair one morning upon waking, seeing it was gone, I was told by a CNA, “Oh, well!” Although, I have also met two wonderful and beautiful young ladies, that were also CNA’s, who treated me as a gentleman and whom I built a repour with, but eventually, to my dismay had to move on, due to unfair treatment, disgust for the way patients were treated and the lack of ability to earn a livable wage. They are going to school, their hearts not soiled by the mistreatment they witnessed. The patients nursing homes seem to want are the bed ridden, mute and dying. But that’s not all that come, and while generously equipped , they prefer to cater to the incapable.
Making federal money off of many of the patients, they seem to be squandering an awful lot of tax payers money mistreating the elder generation of this country. These people don’t ask to be put in these “homes” and studies have proven that over 50 percent have no one to advocate for them. These homes are all they have and whether kept up esthetically or not, the nurses make the chemistry and many appear to be there only to collect a check. Sitting in the empty dining room playing a game on their phone or hiding behind a door on the phone with someone.  These nurses assistants have gone to school for as little as six months and yet are charged with the physical care of our elderly. And spend the majority of their eight hours sitting on their butts, passing the buck to another unwilling “nurse”. We should be ashamed as a country but the dollar always trumps integrity, sadly. The psychiatric hospital doesn’t seem to be that bad at times.


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