Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    I live a stone's throw away from Cuyahoga National Park (NE, Ohio)..
    Posts
    1,213

    Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    I have passed this woman many times while driving to work. She and her lawyer often stand outside a nursing home/rehabilitation center with this sign and one that reads that the state has rated this facility below average. I decided to speak with her and have her tell me her story.

    Her mother was in her middle eighties with many of the normal illnesses that beset us as we age. She told me that her mom was very active and probably had a better social life than she. A while back she put her mom into this facility because she needed some rehabilitation.

    This facility is associated with her and her mom's religion and she felt comfortable that her mom would receive excellent care. The upper left picture was taken the day her mom was admitted and the picture on the lower right is what she looked like the day she died (I believe, seven weeks later).

    She is suing the facility for medical malpractice. I'll save you the litany of things she claims the facility botched in her mom's care. She told me that she visited her mom everyday but three and complained bitterly to the facility's doctors and administrators about her mom's deteriorating condition, but to no avail.

    It's interesting the response she has received to her almost daily protest vigil. Elderly woman who visit friends at the facility, who are also members of the church that sponsor's it, question her integrity and right to protest.

    Individuals who have lost family members while staying in this facility have come to her feeling guilty that they did not protest what they also sensed was an unnatural death to their family member.

    I can't say whether she is right or wrong in her claims -- I just don't have the evidence. However, in my lengthy conversation with her I came to admire what she's doing. She has already gotten the facility administrators to admit to the community that the state rates its services below average. Probably more important to her than any financial reward she might win is that she wants to improve the care this facility offers (she related to me circumstantial evidence indicating that it already has) and get the facility administrators to admit their wrong doing in her mom's premature death.

    My faith in my community goes up when middle class, conservative people are willing to protest in the street. She gains nothing materially from what she's doing. Her legal suite will be settled on issues completely separate from her protest. Nevertheless, she's out in the world protesting to make her community a better place to live. A small but heroic act.

    (Yes, I received her verbal permission to take this picture and yes I told her I was going to post it and her story. She has neither reviewed the picture nor my story. I am receiving no compensation and I'm completely responsible for both the image and the story that accompanies it. For me, this is not a story about medical malpractice but a story about an individual who feels she's been wronged.)

    Comments welcomed.

    karm
    Last edited by Karm Redland; 24th September 2013 at 01:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Digital's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Carrollton, Georgia (USA)
    Posts
    2,143
    Real Name
    Bruce

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Amen.


    Bruce

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Thank you for caring...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lake Ambulalakaw, Mt. Pulag, Benguet
    Posts
    1,026
    Real Name
    Victor Nimitz

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Indeed a heroic act.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Interestingly, my Mum spent her last few months in a rest home recently, before passing peacefully at age 91. I'm sure that the rest home was completely "up to standard" and not one of the "bad ones", but I was reminded of a saying that applied to some social workers that said "I'm not here to just make a living -- I'm here to make a difference"; sadly, if that same test was applied to the rest home my Mum was in - hand on heart - I'd have to say that the staff in general were "only there to make a living".

    Sure they "do their jobs" but the difference could so easily have come from the way they did it, but nobody seemed interested. For all intents and purposes it just seemed to me like it was simply a "parking space" for old folks until they died; sure they were washed and fed and their other needs taken care of (kinda / sorta, and eventually), but it could so easily have been so much more, but they just don't seem to care.

  6. #6
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Wick, Caithness, Scotland.
    Posts
    2,577
    Real Name
    Sharon

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Interestingly, my Mum spent her last few months in a rest home recently, before passing peacefully at age 91. I'm sure that the rest home was completely "up to standard" and not one of the "bad ones", but I was reminded of a saying that applied to some social workers that said "I'm not here to just make a living -- I'm here to make a difference"; sadly, if that same test was applied to the rest home my Mum was in - hand on heart - I'd have to say that the staff in general were "only there to make a living".
    So sad but so accurate Colin

    I am in the thick of that with my Dad just now and I watch my most precious and beloved person being ignored or treated as an 'inconvenience'

    I doubt I will choose to hang around for that stage of my life....and I know he only does out of love for me.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 23rd September 2013 at 11:45 PM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
    So sad but so accurate Colin

    I am in the thick of that with my Dad just now and I watch my most precious and beloved person being ignored or treated as an 'inconvenience'

    I doubt I will choose to hang around for that stage of my life....and I know he only does out of love for me.
    Yeah

    It was a time of much "emotional conflict" for sure. In Mum's case she became her own worst enemy; brain was still sharp as a knife, but body was worn out and she just lost the will to live. She said to me once "it's horrible getting old - nothing works like it used to and all your friends start dying" ... it's hard to argue against that. In the end - for me - it was more of a relief when she passed just to know that she didn't have to struggle through each day so unhappy. I was thankful that for the most part she lived life on her terms though, only being "cared for" in a rest home for the last few months of her life, after living in the house that her and Dad built in the 1960s the remainder of the time (and when I say built, I mean built -- not "had built". They did it themselves - from trees Dad planted as a youngster - cut in a sawmill he made - transported on a trailer he made - and they stayed in a caravan that they made while they were building it).

    What annoyed me the most though was them just not even using common sense - a couple of examples:

    - In the rest home there are dozens of rooms in several corridors, and in accordance with sensible fire regulations, a number of fire doors that closed with a clang as people passed through them ... and that CLANG / SLAM is just what residents want throughout the night as they're trying to sleep and night staff are going through the doors. For the love of god, why on earth couldn't they just put a bit of foam rubber in the door jar just to take the "impact" out of the door closing and stop jolting people aware throughout the night?

    - Mum's having trouble breathing. What would be a sensible course of action?

    (a) Carer responds to Mum's press of the button - sees it's an urgent situation - calls the duty nurse ("stat") - nurse responds - has Mum moved to the hospital wing - put on oxygen - re-assessed urgently and ambulance called if no immediate improvement.

    (b) Call Mum's daughter - who drives to the home - has to get Mum to WALK to her car (several hundred meters away) (when already she can't breath very well even to just stand up) - take her to the after-hours doctors (who took one look at her and said GET THAT LADY TO A HOSPITAL!) - back into the car - drive to the hospital - get orderly to help - orderly bashes her leg with a wheelchair footrest - finally get her to the emergency dept - where she's admitted for about 3 days whilst they sort her out.

    So - which of those two scenarios would you run with? It's "A" for me ... and you guessed it, "B" is what actually happened. Why? Apparently because "Mum didn't want to cause a fuss with an ambulance". A mitigating circumstance perhaps - and not one totally without merit or weight too I might add, but what they needed to be saying was "Sorry love - I know you don't want to be a bother, but you need more help than we can give you here - so - we're calling an ambulance for you". End of.

    If nothing else, what I was really wanting in a rest home was a "peace of mind" assurance that if something was wrong then they'd do whatever it took to see that our Mum had decisions made for her that were timely, appropriate, and in her best interests. Needless to say I never felt that way while she was there -- always felt like we had to watch them like a hawk because we just couldn't trust them to do what needed to be done when things went wrong. Very unsettling.

    In the end they put "exhaustion" on her death certificate as cause of death. How great could a rest home be if they took the trouble to discover what the resident's REAL needs were?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    I live a stone's throw away from Cuyahoga National Park (NE, Ohio)..
    Posts
    1,213

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    I guess I have to chime in with a bit of advice. When I was talking with this woman I asked her where her mother's personal doctor was during her mom's deterioration. "Oh", she said, "he lives far away in a different town where mom used to live." Bingo, there's the problem!

    When we were considering placing my mom in a care facility (age 90) her doctor, who was also a good friend, told me to put her into a facility where he's invested his own money. He told me that he can guarantee her care because he's one of the owners. Best damn advice I ever received. While I too can share with you small stupid things her caregivers did, overall I have to say that she received good care. He also physically showed up occasionally to make sure she looked okay.

    karm

  9. #9
    Marie Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    up on a knob above Paden City, West Virginia
    Posts
    2,054
    Real Name
    Marie Hass

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    I just need to say that sadly, age has no precedence here. Any disadvantaged soul who cannot advocate for themselves are easily warehoused and taken for advantage by for-profit agencies. In my work (with developmentally and intellectually disabled) abuse and neglect (either benign or intended) is rampant among those who are supposedly caring for these individuals.

    It is so hard when we must put our complete trust in strangers. There is few in authority who will advocate for our folks.

    Marie

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Karm Redland View Post
    I guess I have to chime in with a bit of advice. When I was talking with this woman I asked her where her mother's personal doctor was during her mom's deterioration. "Oh", she said, "he lives far away in a different town where mom used to live." Bingo, there's the problem!
    My Mum's Doctor was in the same town, but to me, nothing ever really "clicked" into place with her services. Doctor would examine her and then say "we'll see you in 3 months Mrs Southern" when in reality she was unstable enough to require reviewing about every 7 days (first issue). She was on medication to prevent fluid build ups - and of course the care facility can only give what's been prescribed - so when she experienced symptoms of fluid build up she could take 1/2 a pill more when she was self-medicating to control it herself, but of course "not allowed" in the rest home, so a crazy cycle repeated about every 3 weeks where they'd have to take her to hospital and admit her for 2 to 3 days and give her the same medication - stabilise her again - and then sit back while the whole process repeated. In a logical world you'd think a doctor could say "give her 1 pill a day, but let her take another 1/2 pill at night if she says she needs it", but no (2nd issue). And of course - when you're running a sizable rest home facility (my guess 60+ beds) you'd think that they'd have some kind of commercial relationship with a doctor that they could call out, but again, no (3rd issue).

    It's so bizarre. It's almost exactly the kind of treatment you'd expect if nobody had any money to pay for any of the extra services when in reality Mum was "more than comfortable" and additionally, any family member would have been more than happy to pick up the tab for a doctor call out if Mum needed it. Nothing is more frustrating that someone needing the care - having the ability to pay for it - but not getting it.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Hass View Post
    I just need to say that sadly, age has no precedence here. Any disadvantaged soul who cannot advocate for themselves are easily warehoused and taken for advantage by for-profit agencies. In my work (with developmentally and intellectually disabled) abuse and neglect (either benign or intended) is rampant among those who are supposedly caring for these individuals.

    It is so hard when we must put our complete trust in strangers. There is few in authority who will advocate for our folks.

    Marie
    I can relate to that.

    It's almost like they need an independent on-site patient advocate who has the authority to kick butt if residents don't get the care they deserve. An additional person (or same person) empowered to make common sense decisions (regardless of "policies or politics" wouldn't go amiss either) (ex giving a patient who is struggling to breath ... OXYGEN!) (can't do ... prescription only -- DOH!) ...

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    I live a stone's throw away from Cuyahoga National Park (NE, Ohio)..
    Posts
    1,213

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Marie, I agree with everything you are saying except "and taken advantage by for-profit agencies." When I visited care facilities for my mother the very worst ones were public. I can't say whether this was due to a lack of resources or some other factor. By far, the nicest facilities were all private.

    karm

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lake Ambulalakaw, Mt. Pulag, Benguet
    Posts
    1,026
    Real Name
    Victor Nimitz

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Hass View Post
    I just need to say that sadly, age has no precedence here. Any disadvantaged soul who cannot advocate for themselves are easily warehoused and taken for advantage by for-profit agencies. In my work (with developmentally and intellectually disabled) abuse and neglect (either benign or intended) is rampant among those who are supposedly caring for these individuals.

    It is so hard when we must put our complete trust in strangers. There is few in authority who will advocate for our folks.

    Marie
    Sad, but true.

    My sis-in-law died under circumstances similar to what you described.

    Her family has filed a case versus the " for profit agency".

    Thanks Marie.

    Victor

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Quote Originally Posted by Karm Redland View Post
    Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial
    She told me that she visited her mom everyday but three and complained bitterly to the facility's doctors and administrators about her mom's deteriorating condition, but to no avail.

    karm
    Hi Karm,

    I do not want to sound unsympathetic to the cause of this lady. She might have a good reason to protest in front of the facility where her mother passed away.
    However, listening to one side of the story you will always hear a one sided story. A good reporter should listen to both sides of the story. Have you spoken to the Administrator of the facility to hear their side of the story?

    Death is reality and people in their mid eighties do die. Why was the mother admitted to the facility? Her mother was treated in the facility for seven weeks, according to your story. Why did she leave her mother there for seven weeks? If the mother was so active on admission, why did the lady not have her mother moved to another facility after a week, if her condition was not improving?

    As sad as her story might be, there could be another side to this sad story. (These things do happen in Third World countries, it should not happen in First World countries.)

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    I live a stone's throw away from Cuyahoga National Park (NE, Ohio)..
    Posts
    1,213

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Andre, that's why I said in what I wrote that I can't vouch for her story. Also, I stated that for me it's a story about a woman who feels that she's been wronged and her willingness to protest and not passively accept her mom's fate. It's also why I never mention the name of the facility or its religious affiliation. I'm not reporting on her mom's possible wrongful death. I'm presenting an example of an individual who is willing to fight for justice given her beliefs concerning her mom's death.

    karm

  16. #16
    MajaMolly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    244
    Real Name
    Maja or Molly

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    Heartbreaking for sure. Not only is she attempting to make a difference, you stopping to talk with her made a difference to her...made her feel that her story matters.

    Finding a place with heart is not easy. My mom was struggling with my Gran after moving her in with herself and my dad. After several months it became apparent that she ended more than my mom was capable of. I would spend at least an hour on the phone, every day trying to encourage and help my mom. She was so overwhelmed and didn't even know where to start to find a place for my Gran.

    I began researching and making calls and appointments for my mom to visit. It's hard to help when I live 3000 miles away, but I did what I could. The cost was going to be astronomical. I kept looking and making calls when a memory of my past came to mind. I spent months and months in the hospital and one of the nurses I had took to my boys who were in kindergarten and 1st grade at the time. He became good friends with my boys and husband. They lived in a bit of a rural area and had gardens and horses, goats etc. He and his wife also ran an adult care home. On a long shot, I called them to see if they still were in business. They were. We talked and went over my Gran's condition. They only have room for 6 patients rarely have openings. They had one and agreed to hold it. They met with my parents and my Gran and she moved in just a few weeks later. It is a beautiful place run by people that have a heart for the elderly. They have been such a blessing and we all know how very fortunate we are that my Gran will live out the rest of days with people that truly care.

    I wish there were more places like that.

    My heart goes out to everyone that is going through something similar with a loved one.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bucharest,Romania
    Posts
    1,331

    Re: Admitted for Rehab - Discharged for Burial

    It is a heartbreaking situation.I think that nobody and nothing on this world could replace the love and care of a child for their parents.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •