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When the call light attached to the wall is not answered at all, we note the date and time of the calls. But when the nurse checks the log, she says no calls were made which is impossible since family sat and listened to the endless ring with no response. We have also learned that the alert medallions worn around the neck just flash and send the call to an iPad in the staff's pocket, but the nurse suggested staff "forget" to turn the iPad on, so they sit through the night without calls. I want to know how easy it is for staff to erase calls rather than respond to them as we monitor closely and calls are not being answered.

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Keep good notes on everything and take lots of pictures of anything that seems of the ordinary. Check your loved one - head (yes, check the scalp) to toe - including the private areas - for skin issues/neglect/abuse - and take photos. NH and SNFs are the worst - they lie and will manipulate staff notes - to their advantage and conveniently forget to write something down when it's not in their favor. I learned the realities of - all types of care - when I was going in and out of the healthcare system with my father. There is a thread of evil in all areas of our healthcare system. No joke. Because of what happened to my father, my mother will never go into a NH. People think I'm a martyr for the elderly...Um...no...it's just that I'm terrified of what may happen if I put her in a home - based on what actually happened to my father!
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I urge everyone who has a loved one in a nursing home, or assisted living for that matter, to perform random visits and keep very good written records. I even stayed overnight in my Moms room, although not often enough. People would be surprised at what happens during the night shift - even in a NH that seems ok during the day. And if there are problems report them immediately to the shift supervisor and head of nursing. If problems continue report them to the Ombudsman. While we went to the NH staff when my mother was repeatedly left without oxygen we did not go to the Ombudsman until after my mother died. Only to be told that they could not investigate because they had to witness the abuse first hand. While I question that they would have happened to witness the mistakes first hand perhaps something more could have been done. I will forever regret that I didn't tell my job to go to h*ll and spent more effort protecting my mother.
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No offense but me personally is not a caregiver. I have no patience and don't deal well with a situation at the time it happens. After I think about it, then I realize how I could have handled it better. Mom is in an assisted living and it's not perfect. The aid had to change Mom's bed. I had a full set of sheets in the closet and an extra bottom sheet. She put on the extra bottom sheet but no top sheet just the blanket. She couldn't have used the full set or at least the top sheet from the set? This is the stuff that gets me. Next week Mom be is transferring to long-term care. No I am not happy about it but the money is almost gone and I can't physically take care of her. So, I will there almost every day to make sure Mom is clean and we'll taken care of.
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I would just like to say, it's hard and overwhelming sometimes having to care for a parent that has dementia. They curse and swear at you, though you're doing everything in your power keeping them safe and healthy. No one really has the correct answer but it's up to us to provide and give back to them. I love this opportunity taking care of Mother. Must I say, she's a piece of work. Talking to herself, humming at 2 am and so much more!! To give her to a nursing home out of the question! Those workers are sometimes there just for a pay check. It's no way nobody didn't smell the urine or poop on that lady....it's crap! If you love your parent be patient and pray for strength because as I stated it's not easy. I don't trust anyone that has given excuses as to why it happened!!!! I'm sorry if I have offended anybody, the truth is what it is.
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LadyMiller you are a Rock Star! Your Mum is so very fortunate to have you. As an RN who has now seen my beloved father-in-law, a very good friend as well as many patients in dementia care facilities over the years, you are the antithesis of the family who dumps the parent and is never seen again, which unfortunately happens far too often with this horrific disease.
As for the staff that are neglectful or downright abusive, they of course know that someone with dementia can never expose them. It is sad when you realise what some people are capable of doing to fellow human beings. I would not wish dementia on anyone but there is a special place somewhere for people who would prey on some of the most vulnerable in our society.
As for the lump on the neck, while you did not say what the hospital stay was for, it is interesting that it was never picked up on there. It is not surprising, given that during her 9 days at the NH your mum was never bathed or changed, nothing was noticed and reported.
I am glad you have your Mum with you now. As difficult as I imagine it may be, the peace of mind must be cathartic after all you went through.
I wish you health and wellness. I hope you have a support system built into your life so that you can maintain a balance, which is vitally important in getting healthy and staying that way.
Remember always to take gentle loving care of yourself. Only in doing so will you have anything to give your Mum.
With peace, gratitude and grace
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They can pull some slick moves for sure. My mother suffered a stroke in an NH less than 48 hrs after they told her she was TOO WELL to stay there. Yes, say what?!
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About the call button. I would think that there is a log that the computer generates that can't be fooled with. I guess when u say nurse you mean an RN who is in charge of the Lpns and CNAs. If these employees have anything that alerts them from a resident then they should be left on and the RN should make sure it's done. Is this nurse ur boss. If not go to ur boss and tell him/her ur concerns. No, won't make you popular with the staff but the caste of the residents is important. This facility could be sued for neglect.
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So sorry for your experiences. I just can't imagine. Just think of those people with no families. My complaints are small compared to yours.
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I was an Ombudsman in Naperville, IL for 8 years. My husband retired and we moved here to Las Vegas, NV. I went through the exact training here that I received in IL, then started doing the same job here. After less than one year, I was fired because my boss said I made the staff at the nursing home "uncomfortable." I just hoped that all the wonderful residents that I had met at the NH didn't think I quit because I didn't care about them. I have read so many posts in AgingCare about nursing home abuses that it makes me scared to death about anyone's future.
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I know for a fact, depending on the system, it is possible to see the history of call bells and responses. Also, I am sure this data can be "accidentally" lost or deleted.
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I wish you would have told the Director and staff you were calling the phone company to come out and check out the "problem". I never had a problem with the staff and director at my mom's facility but I do know how frustrating it is when you don't get an answer. For the longest time we had the same Director and staff but gradually they started leaving and new would come in. Finally Brookdale came in and bought it out and things just were never the same. Thankfully I was able to visit at any given notice and for 7 years the same wonderful nurse and nurses aid were there and looked after her along with many other patients. It wasn't horrible care from the aids but there was definitely something different. Just glad it's over for her. Good Luck and God Bless everyone....
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My mom was in a rehab facility while recovering from a fall. It was considered the best in an upscale area. I popped in late one night with a friend. We found my mother soaking wet down to the sheets. It was clear she had been uncared for all day. We changed her and the bed ourselves. The CNA said she had a broken arm and wasn't able to change her! Next day, I went to the DON and said if it happened again I would call the state. No reoccurrence. DO NOT TRUST NURSING HOMES! If you are desperate and there is a medical need, use them for as short a time as possible. Then get out!!!
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I filed all the reports. Nothing was done. There's been a cover up. Yes. I have proof. I went through channels and it got me nowhere. Mom is safe and I, too, am battling cancer. I consulted several doctors. They said they see it all the time in patients and they are sickened by it. I am not well enough to wage a protracted losing battle.
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LadyMiller, I would have done the same. I worked in one and the person responsible for the staff's actions are the Director of Nursing, the attending doctor and the NH Administrator.

If you get them involved along with your Ombudsman, they WILL straighten up. Hope this helps others, but once they are investigated they tow the line.....at least for a little while
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If you have documented facts, why not name names?
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Every state has an Ombudsman. All that you see wrong should be reported to this office. That being said, if I saw gross neglect of my Dad in his NH, out he would go. I had 2 instances that I had to address. One was the weekend nurse put him to bed too early. 6 at night. Got him up at 8 the next morning. Dad had dinner at 4 and had no snack since he was put to bed at 6. He's also an aspiration risk. I confronted the nurse myself that evening. Next day I confronted the Director of Nursing. Then the Director of the facility. Dad will not be put to bed early again! Next incident with the same nurse.....Dad had dirtied his diaper. The rule is that he be taken from the activity room to the nurses station for care. I asked the young volunteer to take him. 2 minutes later he was back. Too busy to change him. Ok......an hour later they came to get him for bed. Had no clue that I was there. Dad sat in his dirty smelly diaper for over an hour. Next day was meeting day once again! I never go at the same time....they never know when I'll show up. Dad is always well cared for, but in the 2 instances I mentioned it was the same weekend nurse that messed up. He won't mess up again. Would I take Dad out if there? In a heartbeat! At almost 97 years old, I would rather take steps to improve his care there rather than move him elsewhere and confuse him even more. I think the key is to be proactive in their care and let the NH know that you're aware of the problems and don't hesitate to speak up and/or call the Office of the Ombudsman. It sure ain't easy!
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My 88 year old mom had to go to a nursing home for rehab after a hospital visit. I chose the best home I could find. I was terribly ill with a bad virus at the time and there was ice all over the interstate and county shut downs. I got a conference call regarding mom's care. She's fine. Everything is going well. I asked some medical questions about her and they couldn't answer them. Then I knew. As sick as I was, I drove on the icy interstate for an hour. Wrecks were everywhere. People were spinning into the concrete barriers. I got there. They lied about everything. I shut her door and began taking pictures. Three infected pressure sores. She sat in the same underwear and clothes for NINE DAYS straight. She never got a shower. Greasy hair. (The salon was supposed to do it. Never happened.) Her toilet was broken and full of you know what. (Because of her memory loss, she had no idea she was being mistreated.) One of the nosy staff came in the room without knocking. I said "Get out, we're having a private financial meeting." Since I'm the POA, they had no choice. I called Medicare on my cell phone, not through their switchboard, and told them the situation and that I was removing her. The guy who took my call cried when I told him why and the details. She also had a lump in her neck that had come up and it was never reported to me. They did absolutely nothing for her. I called her lawyer and he said I couldn't remove her without a medical release or I could be arrested. I said "Wanna bet?" I called a security expert. "Come now." I had no coat or suitcase for her because I had no idea she was this bad. He brought a suitcase. This man is scary looking. Very intimidating. That's the point of a bodyguard. They let him right into her room while I was down the hall getting a bottle of Coke even though she had a specific visitors list. They didn't even ask his name. We moved and we moved fast. I grabbed all her things and threw them in the suitcase. Magazines, snacks, a closet full of clean clothes, socks and underwear they never put on her. Everything was flying and I kept an eye on the door while he put a hoodie on her. She looked like the oldest rapper on the planet. We smuggled her out of there. I did not sign her out. Yes, the lump was cancer. I got her the finest oncology team. How do I know? Because they are MY oncology team. Yes, this is a true story. No nursing home, ever. She's staying with me.
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Anything electronic can be turned on and off by the persons using them. I don't really trust NH!!
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This would be so disturbing! What is the next level of authority on this, is this NH singly, privately owned, or is it part of a corporation? If the first, I'd write to the chief administrator or board of directors, if the latter contact a regional head. I'd stay clear that you are concerned for all the residents and their overall operations, you are helping them identify a gap that they should thank you for. If that comes up zero, of course you'd want to move your loved one if possible and if not contact an elder law, county, or business attorney? It would help to get a copy of what they say their procedures are.
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I am certain that they can delete everything and anything... when my Mom was in a NH, she had often complained about this..so what I would do, is I found out there turn around time and tested it at random. When they did not come in that turn around time I would be at the Nurses station challenging their lousy system and that I was tired of their excuses. This led to a meeting and when they found out they were being 'policed', the situation improved. NH facilities (and ALF) 'bank on' families trusting they do what they say they will do. Sometimes this is the case but all too often it is not the case and family members have to show they are watching and speak up. Good luck to you and your loved one!
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Yeah...but the NH of today are soooo much better than the past? Yeah. This sort of thing (which is really common) is why Mom will never be in one.
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I think the answer to your question can only be answered by someone who is familiar with the particular system being used.

If my mom needs assistance while I am visiting, i go and find her CNA.
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