"I met with nursing home administrators and wrote letters. Nothing happened. But after I submitted complaints to the state, they restricted my visiting for a month. After that I kept quiet. Now me and my family take turns going in to visit our father everyday, morning afternoon and night. We help take care of him so we can make sure he's alright."
"YOU CAN'T TELL ANYONE I TOLD YOU THIS. I don't want to GET IN TROUBLE." "THEY'LL TAKE IT OUT ON ME."
"When I told one of the Aids that my friend Jill didn't get the food she asked for, the Aid smirked at me, put her butt in my face and walked away. The next day I didn't get the food I ordered."
"One time my friend dropped a crayon and asked an Aid if she could get it for her. She asked very nicely. The Aid put her foot on the crayon and kicked it into the corner and walked away."
MUST STOP NOW
Calling attention to the neglect and abuse suffered by the elderly and disabled in nursing homes
and the retaliation suffered by
family members who advocate for them.
"I NEVER TELL MY KIDS
WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON HERE. One time my son came in and found me still in bed at 10:00 AM. I had pissed and crapped in bed cause no one got me up. Boy, did he complain. After that the aids started treating me very bad; much worse than usual. I learned my lesson and now I keep my mouth shut." Richie, a nursing home resident (NOT Lynne's nursing home).
"VISITING RESTRICTIONS, NO TRESPASSING ORDERS, THREAT OF EVICTION, REVENGE RETALIATION AGAINST RESIDENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO REPORT MISTREATMENT AND WORSE, I've seen it all. An ordinary person has no chance facing off with NURSING HOME DIRECTORS. They'll do anything to cover up abuse and neglect. Some literally have no morals when it comes to that." Anonymous Family Member.
"THERE'S SOME GOOD NURSING HOMES OUT THERE, BUT NOT MANY." Your mother's lucky. This is one of the better nursing homes. MOST OF THE PLACES I WORK IN ARE MUCH WORSE. At least here, if a CNA calls in, they really try to find a replacement. Other places don't bother. They'd rather save the money.
LET THERE BE NO MISUNDERSTANDING, the Health Care Profession is a noble calling and the vast majority of Health Care Professionals are hardworking, caring and compassionate people who serve with dedication and love!
Nonetheless, for reasons often left obscured and hidden, huge numbers of elderly, disabled people are languishing and it is up to us, the younger and able bodied to respond and help turn things around.
My fight for my mother Lynne must be our fight for every elderly and disabled person ignored and left alone in their pain and isolation; including and especially when family and loved ones are misled, even by wishful thinking or self-delusion, and made to believe that things are OK.
THINGS ARE NOT OK.
Fight for Lynne Update 11-08-17
LAW SUIT VICTORY
VISITING RESTRICTIONS LIFTED
It’s been nearly a month since my last post on our struggle to protect our mother Lynne at the nursing home where she resides and much has happened since then. Part of the reason I backed off posting is because the nursing home made my posts an issue in settling the case and for the sake of expediency, I stopped posting. Happily, our court battle to force the nursing home to lift the visiting restrictions was successful and the Exec Director who imposed the restrictions suddenly ‘resigned.’ But before going into detail, the last couple of posts from 10-13-17 are re-posted below to make clear where we left off.
Fight for Lynne Update 10-8-17
OUR MOTHER LYNNE IS WELL – LAW SUIT IS BRUTAL OFFER BY NURSING HOME TO LIFT ALL VISITING RESTRICTIONS ON TABLE
First of all, my apologies for the long pause in my posts. My family and I have never filed a law suit and it has taken a great toll on all of us. It is taking a great deal of time; costing a great deal of money; and causing never-ending heartache.
But I believe we finally have traction and happily, thanks in great measure to the excellent lawyering of our attorney, the nursing home has put an offer on the table to lift all visiting restrictions in exchange for dropping our law suit. Although we are happy about this, we are still struggling with the terms of our agreement – especially regarding Lynne’s care and Care Plan.
Nonetheless, we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can all look forward to better days.
My one and most important consolation through all of this is the vast improvement in our mother Lynne’s care since we first raised our concerns back in 8-1-17.
She is doing very well.
And despite all that has happened and as I have mentioned in previous posts, I still believe the vast majority of the nursing home health care staff truly want to do the very best they can in the care they provide. And most are good and compassionate people.
For continued updates and more information please visit abesgentlepenny.com
REMINDER: All the names used in all my posts about Lynne’s nursing home are fictitious with the exception of my name and my mother Lynne.
Fight for Lynne Update 10-10-17
SUING AND LITIGATING A NURSING HOME IS ROUGH – BIG PICTURE – FIGHTING FOR LYNNE IS FIGHTING FOR ALL VULNERABLE ELDERLY ALZHEIMER PATIENTS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS
Our Law Suit against the nursing home in which my mother resides has become brutally difficult and emotionally draining. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined finding myself and my family thrown into what can aptly be described as a David vs. Goliath battle. It’s rough; especially at this point when false accusations against me are being filed with the court.
Since 8-21-17 almost three weeks after we first discovered and reported the severe neglect and mistreatment of our mother Lynne, administrators began a campaign of ‘deflection’ by making false accusations against me and my sister, which the Executive Director used as a false pretense for imposing a punishing set of visiting restrictions, causing me to abandon full-time employment as a public-school teacher. All of this has been very damaging in many ways both emotionally and financially.
But now that documents with false statements are being submitted to the Court, it is getting scarier for me and my family than I ever imagined it would. A very small number of the nursing home employees (and importantly, THE FEW EMPLOYEES EITHER DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN OR RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEGLECT AND MISTREATMENT WE HAVE REPORTED; in other words, the few nursing home employees most a risk of professional reprimand or punishment) have submitted such documents.
Now the question many well-intentioned friends and associates are stating/asking me: although what they are saying about you is untrue, it could still be very damaging to you. Maybe you should drop the Law Suit. The following is my reply:
1. One cannot ‘un-see’ severe neglect and mistreatment of one’s own mother. It is not possible. And if I don’t continue fighting, what has happened to her could happen again or worse.
2. I admit, my family and I are actively looking for alternatives to her remaining in this nursing home. But this is not easy.
a. The one she is in is considered ‘one of the best in Massachusetts.’ How can we be sure that the next
nursing home will be any better?
b. Due to lack of resources and my mother Lynne being on Medicaid, we are very limited in our choice of nursing homes (out-of-pocket pay being impossible to consider)
c. This is the second nursing home we have tried, and the first was just as bad, though for different reasons.
d. Having her reside in one of our homes presents its own set of circumstances and challenges, especially regarding the quality and amount of care she will be eligible to receive living in a private house rather than a nursing facility.
3. THE BIG PICTURE 1: Throughout this ordeal, thousands of people from around the country and some from
other parts of the world have read and in many cases posted and written to me about situations similar to ours: where elder or disabled family member has been neglected and mistreated. Many have written about how they too, when advocating for a loved-one, were retaliated against by nursing home administrators as we have in are advocacy for our mother Lynne.
4. THE BIG PICTURE 2: Look at the news! Look at what happened in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Look on the website I created abesgentlepenny.com !! Look on the internet and see just how much neglect and abuse of elder and disabled people has become an epidemic in our country!! A moral and just society cannot turn a blind eye to what any one with half a brain and a conscious can see. At the risk of using what may be considered overly charged language, based on what I have seen first hand, and what has been reported to me and in news outlets around the USA, what is happening to our elderly and disabled amounts to a kind of ‘TORTURE’ all people of goodwill must recon with and try to address in any peaceful, law abiding way possible.
5. THE BIG PICTURE 3: Of all the marginalized and mistreated groups in our society, it is arguably the elderly and especially those with Alzheimer’s, least able to self advocate. With few exceptions, all other groups are either better equipped to self-advocate or have others who will advocate for them. And I believe there is a reason for this. None of us, me included (until I had to face this with my Aunt Jeanne and later with my mother Lynne), none of us can easily relate to or identify with an elderly person with Alzheimer’s for the simple reason we have never been in a position even remotely similar to such a person. Whereas many people have suffered spousal or child abuse; racial, sexual, gender discrimination, etc., and lived to tell about it and advocate for others, the same cannot be said for elderly people with Alzheimer’s. NO ONE GETS ELDER ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND LIVES TO TELL ABOUT IT. And because of this effective advocacy in nearly none existent.
None of us, myself included, want to spend even one second thinking about being elderly and/or senile. If fact, most of us I’m afraid to say, my self included, rush around through life purposely avoiding the idea or anyone or anything associated with it. But as difficult as this may be, PLEASE STOP AND THINK FOR A MOMENT: CAN WE REALLY STAND BY AND ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE!!!
Imagine for a moment, your mom’s in a nursing home and you witness her being mistreated. You report it to the administration. The same mistreatment occurs again the following day which you again report to the administration. As the days go by, the mistreatment worsens and staff CNAs working with your mom become hostile toward you and your family. You report all of this to the administration, but the hostility continues and the mistreatment worsens.
You and your family meet with administrators up the chain of command until you have no choice but to appeal to the Executive Director. Up till now you’ve held off filing complaints to state agencies because you can’t imagine that no one in the nursing home will not put a stop to the mistreatment and retaliation. You think the Exec. Director must not have all the information and that after you deliver it, (s)he will step in and save the day.
And then you meet with the Exec Director who, without your prior knowledge, has called in the CEO. So, there you are in a meeting with the two most powerful people in the nursing home and you think, finally, something will be done and the mistreatment and retaliation will stop and everything will be alright again.
As you sit expecting some relief, to your horror, the Exec Director rejects all of your concerns and instead makes false accusations against you and your family. Think about that for a moment: you report mistreatment of your mother by nursing home staff, and the Exec Director blames you for mistreating the staff. You report hostility and intimidation by staff members, and then the Exec Director accuses you of the same. You ask for help and support, the Exec Director punishes you by restricting your visitation rights.
Unfortunately, ALL OF THIS REALLY DID HAPPEN TO OUR FAMILY AND MOTHER LYNNE