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Letter: Nursing home care requires constant public scrutiny

Nursing home care requires constant public scrutiny

My mother died in an upscale, very expensive nursing home similar to the story detailed in The Buffalo News article which stated, “It was a painful lesson.”

Mom’s care facility treatment began in a bucolic Amherst location. The assisted living quarters maintained pleasurable amenities. However, once the medical staff assessed mom’s deteriorating condition, she was transferred immediately to memory care. Room size there diminished dramatically as did the dignity and demonstration of actual care provided.

What I witnessed was bewildering at best, sorrowful at worst. Then soon after a devastating fall, my sister transferred Mom to the best hospice nursing care facility in Amherst. Seriously diminished patients, strapped in adult high chairs, were ignorantly spoon fed sans attention. Thereafter, I learned, patients are only toileted every two hours.

Sorry for Mom, who was prescribed milk of magnesia for a minor, temporary condition. She waited, suffering to be cleaned until an aide was available, or in the vicinity, or not messaging. I requested music therapy, which is provided by hospice along with physical therapy. Although an “HOH” (hard of hearing) sign was posted over her bed, a radio was left playing in her room 24/7.

Of course, I furiously addressed these issues at once to the daily floor nurse. She responded promptly with resolutions: the Sunday on-duty nurse was dismissed. Unfortunately, Mom fell once again in her room. She was dead in seven months from vascular dementia.

Yes, it’s time we took more than a serious look at nursing home care and demand humane, professional and compassionate treatment for the elderly, not just by service on a rotation schedule by hopelessly untrained, uncaring personnel.

Just remember one thing: we’re next.

Janice Schlau


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