How long should it take someone to answer the nurse call button in a NH?

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After work every day, I visit my dad in the NH to feed him dinner. The staff is supposed to but they never do. After dinner, my dad likes to lay in bed and watch the news. I can't get him into the bed by myself, so I hit the call button. On the average, it takes the staff 30 minutes to come into the room and turn off the button, and another 30 to 45 minutes to get someone to put him to bed. I've noticed that some of the residents are left in the dining room in their wheelchairs for well over an hour. I looked up online for the guidelines for call systems and it only talks about the fact that the NH should have one. They have a wonderful call system, but it is ignored completely. Once I happened to hear a woman crying for help, no one was around, and I had to go into the physical therapy room during a patient's session to the the PT to pick her up off the floor. I'm documenting all of this to report it, but I'd really like to hear from everyone if they know of a "best practices" guideline for call buttons, for nursing homes only. Thanks!

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Well to be honest, what you observed is the real deal in almost all nursing home facilities. Staffing is ridiculous, managements are lunatics. If you can do a research on who own these NHs? Mostly Jewish people. Facilities are saturated with high acuity patients such as bed bounds, risk for falls, psych probs, agitated/violence, multiple comorbidities with short staffing! An example, 1 nurse:50 residents ratio. Imagine to give medications to 50 residents with different time administrations plus have to deal with wound dressings, call bells, family complaints, rude doctors, uncooperative nursing assistants?! The problem lies on the management/owners that cutting off workers to get more profits. It is actually a hideous way to abuse health care laborers. Mostly Nurses that graduated in U.S. refused or i should say have a choice to find a decent place to work; such as hospitals. If you asked them why? They’re just gonna say, “ Nursing homes? Oh hell no!” Because of this, the managements/owners are forced to recruit nurses from developing countries. These recruited nurses/ health care providers are getting underpaid and overworked in exchanged getting visas/green cards, along with their immediate families. Nursing homes are BS! Unfortunately, many put their families inside so they don’t need to deal with them that much; convenience i guess. Actually, It’s like putting your love ones to rot. Patients are soaked with feces/urine that causes open sores that lead to ulcers then later to infection to sepsis to death! I can go on and on and on.
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Reply to Maggiemae22
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As a former nurse in a long term care facility, if my aides did not answer a call light within 5 minutes to at least see what was needed and ask for help if busy, I would have had a fit. I recently had a problem with the facility my MIL was in. She had COPD and started exhibiting signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection. The nurses and PA waited until she went into respiratory distress to send her to the ER. She died less than a week later. Her left lung was so full it collapsed. The day before they sent her out my husband asked the PA to send her out and she told him that her chest X-ray was clear and she was waiting for blood work to come back. If she had been my patient she would have gone out days before whether the PA approved or not. If you feel that your family member is not getting adequate care stand up and say something. You are their only defense against abuse and neglect.
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Reply to DMorris
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I don't care if anybody's busy here; I would push that call button and tell the nurse get here right this minute! I got up right in one nurse's face a long time ago because my mother wanted a drink of water and the nurses took their good old time getting my mother a drink so I ended up doing it. I also don't care if it violated protocol. Some of these hospitals can take their protocol and stick it up their rear!
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Reply to cak2135
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When my grandma was in rehab, it took them forever. I'm talking hours to come and help her. She was on a hoyer or I would have taken her home and I could hear the staff outside her door debating on who wanted to go deal with the hoyer machine to take her to the bathroom. In fact on several occasions, which I'd complain about, she would push the call button. Within minutes someone would come turn the thing off, then they wouldn't return until I would go chase them down and force their hand to take her to hte bathroom. Then they would always come in and ask her if she needed to go to the bathroom or would be ok with just a quick change. She always would hold it and require a real trip to the bathroom instead of just a change due to them taking hours to get to her. She came home of course with an untreated UTI/Bladder infection. I found the time they would come terrible and I took her back home as soon as she was in a walking boot because I'd rather die caring for her than have the end of her life spent sitting in a room and as she has repeated on several occasions when she is reminded of being back there, "No one comes for me. No one cares about me. I sit here and wait and wait and no one comes." No one young or old should ever be made to feel that way and with her having dementia having her have that happen so many times that I had to convince her by repeating over and over again I will always come when she calls, before she started to call out again instead of withdrawing thinking no one will come for her.

My grandma came home with untreated pneumonia, a pressure sore on her leg from someone placing a piece of toilet paper down her cast (it couldn't have been grandma as a long object longer than anything in her room had to be used and she had no working bathroom in her room which didn't matter as she was on strict hoyer while there so should have never been left alone in the bathroom to have that happen), and had lost 30 pounds due to not eating because they would place the food on her tray leaving her sleeping and then take it away before she even woke up. She would wake up a half hour to an hour later and be hungry but no one would offer food. She was a diabetic so of course she would drop in sugar so she would pass out and be found who knows how long later in a diabetic coma and they would call the primary care doctor asking for an upper to bring her back. Then later on they would offer her chocolate cake and candy when she was hungry instead of a meal and would once again have to call the doctor (same day often enough) asking for something to lower her blood sugar. Needless to say, her leg did not heal until I had her home with me eating balance meals, going to the bathroom when asked and walking on her walking boot instead of being stuck in a wheelchair (they had everyone in the entire building in a wheelchair even if you were told you could and should walk).

She also had a huge open wound on her back that they didn't even tell me about and on her bottom which I'm guessing was from falling from her wheelchair. They had the nerve to laugh about it when grandma would tell me about it (she would tell me she was sore and body parts hurt) and say that she fell out of her wheelchair again. They would also brush it off saying nothing hurt. I asked to be called when that happened and no one would. I didn't find it funny and let me tell you I was downright pissed when I saw she actually had marks on her back and bottom from sliding out of the wheelchair. I was able to repair them with duoderm but one was so badly infected it really hurt her at first. I felt so bad!

I hate the idea of nursing homes and honestly pray with all my heart I'm dead before ever seeing the age I'd be put into one.
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Reply to littlemisskitty
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My parent has had the unfortunate experience of being in multiple nursing homes for one reason or another. Three of these nursing homes sent my parent home with UTI which caused weakness and falls; the outcome was more injuries and back to the hospital and then another nursing facility. Several times it took 4 hours to get someone to answer a call light and other times it was 45 minutes or more. The particular Nursing home now being used is owned by a multi-millionaire who bought a mansion on an island and was putting in a tram system, security tower, new road etc. My parent has suffered from multiple sores and family is the one to find them, not staff. When staff is questioned each and every one says they don't know about it. As for food, you know d*mn good and well that the owner is eating far better than the people he claims he cares for. My parent has been fed two pieces of plain bread with that processed plastic cheese. Yum, how appetizing for dinner. A jet black grilled cheese sandwich, Vegetable soup with three pieces of vegetable, broccoli beef soup with one piece of each in it, dessert is a 1.5" x 1.5" piece of dry crumbly cake and to cheap to add frosting. Dry as a bone chicken breast rolled in corn flakes, dry as a bone pork loin roll in rice krispies - too cheap to buy seasoned bread crumbs. Burritos that are hard on the ends, vegetables are either way overcooked or undercooked to where residents can't chew. Nursing Homes in Oregon that accept Medicare and Medicaid are the "Ghetto's" of elder living. We invited Gov. Kate Brown to lunch to taste the lovely food here and no response. Our congress doesn't care about the elderly. Let me tell you, saying please and thank you and bringing in treats to staff still don't get your family members any better care. You can document, document, and document until you your fingers are ready to fall off. By the time the State Ombudsman office investigates it is 3-6 months later and 98% of neglect claims end up being unfounded with investigators stating if they don't see if happen then it didn't happen or the offending staff or witnesses have already moved on. You can take photos hundreds and hundreds of photos and the State will not use them in determining abuse or neglect. they cite the fact that you can't prove who is in the photo. Well, who else's buttock are we taking photos of? And how many elderly people can put there legs over their heads to their fact is in the photo to prove who it is? Between Medicare and Medicaid these h*ll holes get around $9,000 per month to neglect family members. how about paying family $5,000 per month to stay home and take care of our elderly? I will end my life before I end up in one of these h*ll holes.
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Reply to knr1977
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Tell those halfwits at the NH either to get their act together or you will pull your father out of their nursing home and find him another place for him to go! What was just mentioned makes no sense at all, and I don't care if anybody's busy or not!
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Reply to cak2135
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Bring in the Ombudsman. I'm an Ombudsman and when they see me coming, no call light goes longer than 30 seconds. I find that very amusing because I know it's a total fantasy.
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Reply to pamstegma
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Is there no law out there with a specific time?
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Reply to PensamR
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I cannot vision our Federal or State governments spending months in committee meeting, using taxpayers money, to decide to put a law in place as to what would be the longest wait for a call button in a care center. Then what? Arrest the Aide or Nurse for not coming within the time frame?

There are patients who over use the call button because they want attention. We could bring our love ones home and we hire our own nursing staff, but I bet call buttons or bells rung wouldn't get immediate attention, either.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Is there no law out there with a specific time?
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