Can a nurse/senior facility be so evil as to purposely mess up Mother's glaucoma eye medication?


What can I do fast to protect Mother An RN giving Mother eyedrops on Monday mornings was giving her the wrong eye medications. She was getting Latanoprost in the a.m. instead of AZOPT (in both eyes). In the evenings the same RN - 5 days a week - was giving Mom only AZOPT in both eyes but not the Latanaprost in the evening that was prescribed by her eye Dr. This went on in July, August and part of September before I discovered the same. This has been a disaster for her. The eye Dr noted a problem after taking imaging of the glaucoma dark spot. It had signifigantly increased. Mother was sent to a specialist. At her age, he was not to interested kn the case. Mother has every right to be treated as anyone in their 40's. She is 99. The Dr. didn't seem too alarmed.

After that the same RN withheld medications and eyedrops on a Monday morning. She claims Mother was not at breakfast. Mother was there. Mother and I went to a Dr. appointment after breakfast, I notified a Nurses Aid as the Nurse was not on the floor or in her office that we were leaving and assumed her medications were given. When Mother and I got back, the same RN was making a point, I think in retaliation for my exposing mistake above that she made. An Ombudsman was there. She went with me to try to mediate the same. The RN told me I was no longer the POA of Health Care, that my brother was and that he had POA over financial papers. I do not think this is true. When the Ombudsman asked her what Medications my Mother received in the am, she replied, none of importance. She got a list up on the computer and read off the vitamins but not her absolutely necessary prescriptions. Mother gets the bulk of her prescriptions in the am. The Ombudsman asked her to state the policy of offsite trips, she did, and I understood Notice to her was mandatory when she was there and I had no problem complying in the future to the extent she told me to sound Mother's emergency alarm if there was no one there to notify we were leaving and when we would be arriving.

The result of this argument was that I am relegated to come and go no earlier than 8 am and no later than 8 pm. The facility was trying to block me from being with my Mother except for a few hours a day. With these hours I miss seeing Mother get her eye drops the majorrity of the time.

About 2 weeks ago Mother asked me, where is the cat? It was 8 feet in front of her. I was alarmed. It was the first loss of vision she has experienced. We went back to her eye Dr. and had him take another scan of her eyes. This time there was a significant darkening in the eyeball.

Tonight she was in bed and asked about the newpaper about 4 feet away from her in from of the wall. It was the cat litter box. I am beside my self for fear she will loose her eyesight hastened by the negligent/intentional acts of the RN.

Can anyone relate to this circumstance, what do you advise. Her eye Dr. is afraid he would get sued when I asked him to back me up, I asked him to write a letter to the facility that I should give her eyedrops or be there to see the eye drops are given on a daily basis.

There are several matters this worse or worse. I would like to bring Mother home. I cannot go to upper management as they have behaved worse and irrationally. The Ombudsman had me call the state medical licensing agency for the facility. I told him of the times Mother did not receive her eyedrops or meds. I told him I was afraid of retaliation. I don't think he dropped the ball. We need help fast to stop the deterioration of her eyes. Where would you go? Nt sure what path to take.Thank you for reading all of this. Love you all.

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continuing to dmorochnick . . . Yes I believe these are civil rights cases. Someone wrote that when you contact the government agencies that are supposed to protect the resident/ family, they waste so much time the SOL has pretty nearly run out. ACLU might have an interest. In a Civil Rights case if you loose you can be charged with attorney fees if that has not changed since I retired.
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dmcrochnick thank you for your sharing your experiences similar to mine. I will read your posted articles. I am a retired attorney. I documented everything. I have at least 40 pages of the story plus documents. It was a horrible situation that I posted questions and answers many times on Aging Care. You can look them up by  pressing on my name. It got a lot worse. Mother began having visual hallucinations. I then took Mother to a prestigious University, where a glaucoma specialist diagnosed Mother with Charles Bonnet Syndrome. It is an end stage of sight when Glaucoma progresses to a most severe stage. He wrote a letter to the rogue facility that he wanted to have an intervention with me giving Mother her eyedrops for 3 months to see if her eyes would stabilize. I had been giving her eyedrops for 2 years before she was forced into their Personal Care Unit.   Their were many negligent/intentional acts getting Mother out of her Independent Living Apartment that took Mother from an Independent lifestyle to a confused invalid from so many falls on her head in Personal Care where the Nurses Aids brought her back to her room and not take her to the toilet or tuck her into bed.  They stuck her in front of her TV.  If you look up my name you can read more about the plethora of incidences. The corporate culture was lying. They dragged me through the mud.  When my hours were cut to 4 hours a day 5 days a week my son stepped in and told them as soon as we found another place we were moving Mother. My cousin and brother wanted me removed from Mother's life. They were on the side of the rogue facility. Mother got so disabled she could not balance even sitting down let alone walk from so many falls. My brother changed sides after a two months of night time Nurses 8 hours a night at $25.00 per hour and my cousin did not fight us moving Mother when he saw the Glaucoma Specialists letter.  He is a retired Pediatrician who wanted to be  Mother's POA (I am her POA) and he has a Dixie Land Jazz Band that the rogue facility booked several times a year.  We moved to a very nice facility close to my home residence of 35 years. Some of the staff here are friends of my son.  We don't have any harassment. Our Cat stays with Mother and myself full time.  She did not recover to her Independence but has greatly improved.  She will be 100 years old in a week and a day.  We are planning a party for her.  Cousin and Brother did not have any relationship with her for many years.  We have a dysfunctional family.  Mother wants cousin to leave us alone.  Brother is  not interfering at this point after their failed attempt to take over my position as POA.  He is aligned with Mothers stock broker.  He and the stock broker ignore Mother and myself and will not let us have online access to her statements.  We get a copy every month.  My brother and I are cosigning any checks out of her account pursuant to an agreement.   Mother and I do not want to be separated.  Even in a good facility, there is nothing like a loving daughter or close family member looking after their LO. 
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You can't always assume that "not seeing the cat, right in front of her" is related to glaucoma. This happens frequently with dementia.
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Thank you all for your answers. I have taken notes and will follow through.
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Sounds like a lousy NH.
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Have you confirmed with your brother who exactly has medical DPOA? This is important not just for this eye drop issue, but for future concerns as well. Once you have established who the responsible party is, I think it would be prudent to approach the nurse and the facility in a non-confrontational way and request a care plan meeting so that everyone is on the same page with regard to your moms needs. Going over her medications including dosing requirements would certainly be part of that care plan meeting. Rather than taking an aggressive approach, try working together as a team with the staff who care for your mom. Everyone should have her best interests at heart.
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There's no need to reach for wild imaginings about evil nurses. Between understaffing, indifference and the unpleasant, messy faff of eyedrops in general, it seems much more likely to be incompetence than malevolent intent.

I too would be turning purple and spitting feathers over this, and I very much sympathise with your despair and outrage. But having said that, I am afraid that treating your mother's kind of eye condition is difficult and uncertain of outcome in any case, even with the most punctilious care; so I doubt whether the nurse's half-heartedness will have made any material difference. You have to think whether there is any useful *purpose* in pursuing the nurse's behaviour, especially as you're unlikely to get her disciplined over it.

Turning to the possibility of bringing your mother home... It isn't impossible, but in these circumstances it does sound as if it would be fraught. For example, would your brother welcome that idea? Is your mother able to give her consent? And would you be able to satisfy any supervisory or regulatory bodies that you have a formal care plan for her, supported by a professional health care team? I know it can be done because I did it, but that doesn't mean I'd recommend it. How well set up is your home for her needs? How would you manage?
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Yes, I can relate to this question. I am a retired nurse and have seen much disreguard from some nurses over eye drops. Some seem to be so rushed that they simply don't care. It is a sad world we live in today. Those patients that have family in and out daily will actually receive better care than those that don't in some places. I noticed this often throughout my career. Eye drops are not as "countable" as pills so some nurses just wouldn't bother at all with them. I witnessed that in a really poor nh in my own home town.
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What we have gotten out of the answers are : find out if the directions for the prescription were put into the computer correctly in the first place as it should have been. Were the Nurses in the Health Care Center administering the eyedrops incorrectly? ( Mother was there before she was transferred to Personnel Care). Whose fault was the mistake? Did the nurses follow directions? who was responsible for notifying the RN's from different shifts? Are there any other questions that are better than any of these that I should be asking?

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Assistedthe meds were to be given? Who is responsible for overseeing the administration of drugs in the Personnel Care Section? Today I met the Clinic Supervisor for the first time. Is there some procedure that is used that would assure me that Mother is getting her eyedrops as prescribed such as a daily log with the RN's initials? The RN asked me for a prescription that I brought in to her when I brought up the error. Were they giving Mother the eyedrops without the prescription that she had to ask for it?
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As an Ombudsman, my hands are tied whenever the patient has a Guardian appointed. I normally represent the patient, BUT the court ordered POA calls the shots. Nobody else.
As for a deliberate screw up? Unthinkable. If you say that out loud, they will ban you from the premises. Honest.
Retinal repair? A total waste of time and money, mom's was no good, and she was only 85 when they did it.
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