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My Mother is currently in a nursing facility which will probably be long term because of her age a dementia. I am with her practically every day after work assist with dinner - while I was there yesterday I nearly triped on the floor because it was cleaned up of crumbs - I had to ask for someone to sweep the floor and it got so that I said give me the broom I'll do it - I cannot complain about all of the aides as they are wonderful but a few I noticed will do only so much and that is it. I love to say something to my Mother's social worker about this and a few other matters but I'm afraid if I do there will be repucissions. Has anyone had this kind of a problem - if so I need some advice on how to go about speaking up and not stirring the pot!!

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my mother is in a nursing home too, and sadly I have to track down an aid when I shouldn't have to. I try to remember they are busy with many other residents, and not just there for my mother. Don't be afraid to speak up, and Good luck.
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I agree with the above. You need to pick your battles. I also made it a habit to frequently bring cookies or doughnuts on a disposable platter and put it in the staff kitchen with a sticky note thanking them for all their hard work. While I visited, if there was something that needed to be done for Mom or even for her roommate, I would ask the desk if I could do it for them - they really appreciated that also.
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Pull rank.

The only way I got the problem solved is sleeping in the chapel of the hospital with my better half overnight, several nights.

The night security crew kicked it up to the brass and as soon as Connie and I hit the floor to check in on dad, all the cell phones dropped and everyone got real busy -- magically I might add :)
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If staff have stolen your Dad's clothing, it is a matter for them police. Tell this to the DON.
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In addition to caregiving lapses I've described at the NH where my dad is, the matter of his clothes disappearing is also a problem. My mom has tried everything--stick-on name tags, iron-on name tags, Sharpie laundry markers, etc etc. One day she and I stormed the laundry room looking for his missing clothes but they wouldn't let us in the door. At first we assumed there was just a mix up due to the volume of clothes but at this point there are at least a dozen pieces of clothing that have permanent gone missing. I don't have any sage advice on how to handle this because it's pretty clear to us that some of his clothes have been taken home by staff.
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Caregiver99 you have found the only solution that will work. Do not leave more than 2-3 outfits in her room or "someone" will be tempted to borrow. Make sure everything is clearly labeled with her name.
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Erratum: "Since it DE-humanises the patient.
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I insist on taking my wife's clothes home to launder. No ifs, buts or maybes. I like it, my wife likes it, and it keeps her looking like herself.

BTW - I also stick a large picture of her on the wall at the head of the bed so staff can see who she is when she is not sick.

Depersonalisation is the worst kind of isolation, since it humanizes the patient. Never let it happen. We also plaster the walls of her room with family pictures and pictures of scenes and places she loves.

It is never home, but it establishes her as a real person to staff and visitors alike.
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It is very difficult to see your mom in a NH, I understand the hard work aids have to do and I help when I'm there but there is one thing I don't know how to deal with. Clothing, My mom arrived with plenty of clohes, undergarment included, the first week of her residency, there was no clothes and she was wearing somebody elses which are sizes bigger than hers, I offered to take her clothes home to clean but they said it was not necesary. Now they have ask for more clothes and I'm reluctant since she is not even wearing a bra or socks. It beak my heart to see her and its difficult to hold my anger, please help!!!
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There is a list of residents' rights established by law in regards to long term care facilities in the U.S. One of those is the right to present grievances to staff or any other person without fear of reprisal and with prompt efforts by the facility to resolve those grievances. Residents, or anyone else for that matter, have the right to file a complaint with the state ombudsman program and/or the state survey and certification agency along with the state health authority.

Retribution by staff for a complaint made against them holds a $3000 fine and/or jail time.

Yes, it's nice to be able to resolve issues through a fair discussion, which should always be the first step, but as a former Ombudsman Supervisor I've come to realize that most complaints made to the staff or administration of long term care facilities fall on deaf ears or receive lip service unless an authoritative figure is on the side of right.
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The one of the things I do is go to the nursing home at different times of the day.? Morning, sometimes at lunch time , so etc especially I go in the evening. THEY NEVER KNOW WHEN I Wil be their so my mom is well taken care of...because I have reported them once to my ombudsman and am not afraid to take that Avenue again!
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My mother passed away 2 weeks ago in a nursing home. I experienced the same issues;bed sores, wet briefs etc. I contacted the social worker, filled out anonymous complaint forms to no avail. I found out that nursing homes hire family members, which in some cases is not good. However if you contact the Nursing Home Bureau in your home State they could help you. they are professional and the practice discretion. Good luck!
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Caregiver99, NextFriend relationships do exist, typically created through a Petition to be appointed as a Next Friend, and a Order signed by a Judge creating that relationship.

We used them when suing on behalf of a minor, and the appointment was only for purpose of that lawsuit.

That was back in the 60's and 70's. I don't know if they are still used or if they can be used for adults because there are other options available.
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@ 2muchpain:

Pressure sores are UNFORGIVEABLE. They are signs of studied neglect, and make an inroad for infections.

Speak up now, and do not be afraid. In the English Law system there is a position called, "Next Friend." A Next Friend is appointed by a family member to speak up for the interests of anyone at risk whether in or out of a nursing facility of any kind.

I do not know whether this position exists in the American system, but if it doesn't then it should.

Regardless, get a bold, courageous, even an opinionated fearless friend of any sex or age to go with you and to speak out for you when you see such appalling neglect.

Never be afraid to make waves, and never be afraid to drop the provocative term, "Lawsuit" into the conversation.

Neglect in cases like these are elder abuse crimes and our loved ones are entitled to the full protection of the law in alleviating them.

I wish you well in your mother's future care.

Not all staff are careless, lazy, neglectful, but some are and they need to find different employment. They are suited for cinder sorting at the local gasworks, but should never be left to deal with people. It is not their vocation. The cinders will not mind their neglect or laziness.
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Gee, teena1...All I can say is "Stir the pot" as much as you need, but be helpful to the staff. My mother has been in the nursing home since 2003 and I've seen it! Both positive and negative results. I've seen caring nurses and lazy cna's. I can't stand to see them standing around shootin bull instead of checking on a resident. I really flipped when I observed a large pressure ulcer on my mother just from sitting in her wheelchair a lot. It actually lit a fire under me as to deciding how much more I needed to be there, and not to mention what else I did to get more attention for my mother. She is healing slowly and I've learned a lot out of this. I offer my help while they change her, and helping her to get her food down, and they DO like that. I've made my complaints to the director and I make sure I say THANK YOU to anyone involved in her care inspite of how pissed I've gotton. I still would go nuts if I had to care for her at home. Its only a matter of time before God takes her home so I try to make her as comfortable as I can with their help. Bringing food/snacks to the staff is a nice idea to show appreciation.
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There should be housekeeping staff that clean the facility. Resident care is more important. I know aides and usually very busy. If the facility overall needs cleaning then I'd be concerned, you have to pick your battles. You can speak with your local long-term care ombudsman if you feel there are some major issues in the facility.
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I didn't have a chance to read all the comments here, but there seems to be a lot of good advice. I would like to add that if you have concerns about how the nursing facility is treating your mom contact the Ombudsman Supervisor for that facility. In accordance with the Nursing Home Care Act, the facility has an Ombudsman Supervisor assigned there. His/Her name and phone number should be prominently displayed at the facility. If not, call the state Ombudsman office (Aging Services) and talk to them. Long Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of long term care facilities. They are there to make sure the residents' rights are being upheld, receiving dignified care in a respectful manner. Ombudsmen have the right to investigate complaints. Confidentiality is always at the forefront of all complaints.
Good luck.
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When she went into the nursing home you were given information to contact the dept. of health and human services, there is a number that is a 800# to call and leave an anonymous concern, but then they can not get back to you, but you can ask them not to use your name and if you are there everyday you know of others who there is no one to advocate for them. please do something as there are so many who have no one! There is also in each area as I do not know your state to call the ombudsman/woman to mediate your concerns.
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Stand up! Speak up! And never back down! When you know you are right and they are wrong, they also recognise that and will move themselves to set things right.

Do not be fobbed off with excuses. Demand immediate improvements.

Consult your state ombudsman.
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Violet521 - bed or pressure sores are an absolute deal breaker and they constitute wilful neglect. When my wife started getting red patches on her buttocks and back I called in the RN and explained to her that if they did not disappear soon the NH would be involved in an expensive lawsuit.

I never make any bones about the level of care I expect her to receive and I don't care who knows it. In fact, it has been my experience that the more people know what you expect from them fro your loved one the better and higher the standard of care they receive.

Relatives and caregivers must NEVER be complicit in neglect by failing to make complaints [most NHs have forms for that express purpose], nor for expressing your dissatisfaction at the level of care received or the standard of cleanliness of both the patient's body, the patient's bed, and surrounding area, nor of any rudeness, disrespect, or of any neglect, however slight, that your loved one, their patient, suffers.

If you have to raise H*ll in the place to get your loved on treated right, then do it. If you feel unable to do so, then contact your state ombudsman and complain loudly to them.

Let your voice be heard, let it be heard often, and make your ;ploints in a bold, courageous, and proper manner.

If that neglect persists, report the facility to the nearest police officer or station for serious 'elder neglect.' It is a crime.

The more light that it shed in these places, the better will be the level of care they offer as routine.

Independence Day is looming: make your stand and demand your rights.

Good luck and don't forget to complain to the Director of Nursing about the conditions your father is being treated to, tomorrow! Then, let us know how you got on. You can always call the local TV station and newspapers to highlight your concern and let some light in this dark place.
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GardenArtist, thanks for the response. There is a doctor coming to see him tomorrow mid day and my mom and I will be there. I have taught my mom how to take pictures with her iPhone and she is also taking notes during every visit. We are looking for another place for him but he is currently "Medicaid pending" and we've been told that he can't get in anywhere else while he's in limbo.
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Violet, is your father finally getting treatment for the bedsores? There's no excuse for the conditions and treatment you describe. I hope you're taking action to move him elsewhere? And DOCUMENT, PHOTOS, DOCUMENT & PHOTOS!

You're right about the Medicare ratings; they're based on certain standard criteria, but there's more to evaluation of a facility than that. Still, it's a measure of some factors, and I did rely on it to eliminate some facilities when I was looking several years ago.

The one area which I accidentally but completely overlooked was the staff to patient ratio, especially at meal time and thereafter.
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If you are just starting the process of choosing an NH I strongly suggest you try to find out from family members of other residents what they think of the NH that their loved one is in. Although I don't know how to do it, the best way to judge a place before committing to it would be to spend 4-5 hours in the dining room or common area to get a sense of the CNAs treatment of residents, how the nurses and CNAs interact, how smoothly things go at meal time, how responsive they are when a resident asks for help, and the overall sense of the place, good, bad, or a little of both. I wish I had don't this before we placed my dad where he is. We were working with a Geriatric Care Manager who recommended this place to us. She was generallly well meaning but apparently unaware of what life is actually like in there.
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FYI, the Nursing Home Compare site at Medicare.gov has a lot of detailed information about nursing home inspections including how well they perform in terms of staffing levels, chronic infections, residents' mobility and overall ability to care for themselves, and other measures. However I do not believe these reports are reliable because the NH my dad is in right now has fair to good ratings in most categories but somehow it earned an overall rating of 5 stars. Frankly nothing could be further from the truth. We have an ongoing problem with the CNAs not changing him frequently enough which has led to huge open sores on his rear end. Just yesterday my mother got there at 4 pm and found him in bed with no clothes on except an overflowing diaper which they had put on him 22 hours earlier! The nurse told my mom that they hadn't gotten him out of bed all day becomes his rear end was too infected and sore for him to sit up in a wheelchair. So their alternative was for him to lay in bed in his own filth for 22 hours? Really? And this is hardly the first time something like this has happened. When my mother asks the CNAs to help her get him changed they either completely ignore her or tell her it's "not his turn yet." That is not 5 star care by any stretch of the imagination.
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Call the number given at your mom's Nursing facility for the omsbudmans. File a complaint with all your concerns and the investigate. Also call the Elder Law Attorney's and they will guide you.
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Not all NHs are the same. Shop around and Google, read reviews. If still worried go and see admissions directors and Directors of Nursing and explain your concerns.

If they cannot satisfy your proper worries, then look elsewhere.

If anyone is close to Mesa, AZ, I know of an excellent NH that I will happily recommend.
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Our next step is likely to be a NH and I am scared. I have heard so many horror stories. I know I will put it off til it becomes absolutely necessary. However many of you have (sorta) put my mind at ease. Some very good advice about being nice and getting nice in return. Once again Im so happy to have found AC and all you guys. God Bless
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If crumbs persist, you could make a point by bringing in a couple of pigeons. :)
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I agree about picking your battles. If she had bruises and welts then complain. Crumbs not that much. If you would say something, keep it sweet about the crumbs. Sweet but assertive.
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Being an aide is probably worse than housekeeping and pays about the same.
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