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She was recenlty hospitalized with a severe UTI. After they tested her, they determined she had sepsis. It seems to me the Nursing Home waited much too long to get her care for her UTI. Why wasn't she sent to the hospital sooner is my concern? She had obviously been ill for quite awhile. Family members noticed her lethargy and she had all but stopped eating and drinking liquids as she was severely dehydrated when she was admitted.

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As a former Director of Social Services, I have to agree with the many above comments. First, you need to speak to the Director of Nursing, and if that does not go well, the Administrator. If problems still persist, call the Department of Public Health. I guarantee you that if you make your presence known, take notes, stay involved, they will pay attention. My Mother had a hip replacement recently, and had her rehab done at a nearby nursing home. Since I know how nursing homes operate, I made sure my presence was known. One day I found my mother in briefs. I marched to the DON's office and firmly informed them that since my mother in not incontinent, the next time I find her in briefs, I will consider it a dignity issue. I made them aware of my background, and yet I was polite, yet, firm, since I know the stresses of working in this environment. No excuses, and my Mother was lucky that I was her eyes and ears. Most nurses will lie, and cover for each other. What they need to hear is that YOU know your and your loved one's RIGHTS in your state. Stand firm and good luck!
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Pam is right on. We never left Mother alone in hospital or rehab. One of us or a private nurse was there 24/7. We kept our own log book and monitored all meds as being given. Too many patients, not enough staff and nurses to care for them. You must stay actively involved. We had Mother transported to hospital a couple of times when the nurse didn't think it was necessary. Just because your loved one is in nh, doesn't mean you are no longer responsible for their care. We met with care team every week; they wanted twice a month and we held our ground for weekly.
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Contact your long term care ombudsman. The ombudsman will be able to give you info on nursing home care, and can advocate for your loved one.
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You may want to look into other alternatives to Nursing Homes. I took care of my Mom, in my own home for ten years and realized how much I enjoyed having her here. When she passed away, I continued to care for an elderly person in the same way. There must be others that feel as I do, and know that the elderly are entitled to much better care than what large facilities are capable of offering. Many have the take it or leave it train of thought which only frustrates the family because they feel that there are limited options for their loved ones. This is so untrue.
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I was at my wit's end about the deplorable care of my father in his first nursing home when I contacted the ombudsman. She set up a teleconference with staff, herself, my brother, and me. (I lived fifteen hundred miles away but was in touch with my father and staff via phone daily.) The meeting was a joke!
In the second nursing home for my father, where I visited him daily, I once went to the nurse for a second three-ounce cup of thickened water for him, who was extremely thirsty that day. She refused it although there was water on the med cart she was attending. I reported the incident to the facility's social worker, who dismissed the matter by saying that the facility owed the nurse a lot. You can read these incidents and many more heartwrenching ones in Before the Door Closes: A Daughter's Journey with Her Alcoholic Father.
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Nursing homes in our area have two staff members per hallway for 20-24 seniors! Yet the cost is about $7-$8,000 a month. However, One on one in a private home, is really the best care that money can buy. In general, more cost effective, happier and healthier seniors that are given plenty of attention.
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Pam is right - if you are actively engaged, they will pay more attention. Sad, but that's the reality of the healthcare world.
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You meet with the Head Nurse aka Director of Wellness weekly and go over mom's care, her meds and her activities. You work together to get this straightened out. Make sure this person knows you on sight and has your cell phone number.
In mom's room I keep my own thermometer, stethoscope, BP cuff and fingertip pulse oximeter, plus there is a bathroom scale. I take readings and keep a log on the table near by.
If they see the tools and they see you know how to use them, they will take you seriously.
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Ask for a care meeting with the Director of Nursing and the Director of Social Work to go over the records in detail. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, you speak with the director of the facility. After that, you report them to the Ombudsman and the Joint Commission on Accreditation
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