Please note there is an extremely important update to this article, at the end of the article. If you are any way involved in living in or visiting a nursing home or rehabilitation and care center, or if you have friends, relatives or co-workers inside of one of these places, it is vitally important that you read this complete article and the ultra-important update at the end of the article.
What is happening inside of our nursing homes and inside of our physical rehabilitation centers today would shock the average person. Right now, today, while you sit in your comfortable home reading this, someone your age, someone of your background is suffering at the hands of unscrupulous staff in nursing homes and in physical rehabilitation and care centers right in your own city.
Just recently a friend of mine from across the country called me to tell me that her mom was put into a hospital due to bedsores. The home-health care agency that was in charge of trying to help her and keeping her safe, neglected to turn her or move her every two hours and as a result of that neglect, this woman was hospitalized when the bedsores got so bad they were life-threatening. Would you think that a sore could be life-threatening.? Yes, and this is especially so to seniors, fragile , ill people and to disabled people. This woman recently died. And she died not from illness, but from needing to be hospitalized due to horrible bedsores.
What permits this to go on? Sometimes it is indifference but most times what permits the abuses to go on is that people are not aware that this is happening. This article brings it to light, brings it to your attention and begs your participation in changing things for better and asks you to take small steps to save a life today.
As you are reading this, pause for just one moment and let me ask you this question: Are you one of those people who do not or will not believe that people are being treated so horribly in America? If you are, give yourself and everyone else the benefit of the doubt and read the article that is listed inside this link near the bottom of the page. Also, if you know any doctors, ask them if they would put ANY family members inside of a nursing home. You will have your answer there.
One of the biggest reasons that residents get more unhealthy and sometimes die in nursing homes is due to bedsores. And usually bedsores are a direct result from lack of care, lack of good nursing home management and supervision and under-staffing of rehabilitation and care centers. In other words, the management in these places is so lacking and so inexperienced at keeping people healthy, that they do not keep proper track of how often patients are moved and changed from side to side. Once residents are allowed to lay still for hours at a time, these patients develop sores, which most times never heal. Most times, these sores can be life-threatening. How? If a resident has diabetes or other serious physical ailments, these sores can cause the patient to be more unhealthy and unhealthy to the point where they can reach near death. And the horrible truth is that ALL of these sores are totally unnecessary and totally avoidable. All the rehab and care centers and nursing homes have to do is to turn patients and move patients every two hours and document such moves. However the bad rehab and care centers and bad nursing homes just let the patients rot immobile until they develop sores.
How do they get away with doing that? Here is what they do. They allow the patient to rot in bed, bringing breakfast and other meals to the room, not encouraging the patient to come out to the dining room. Then once they rot in bed, they begin to be able to not move or turn themselves. This happens over time to patients in these bad centers. Once they cannot move themselves, they are getting worse, more unhealthy and sometimes die due to ulcers and bedsores.
Injury happens; patients may need amputations due to bedsores if they develop into gangrene. And then the cycle goes over and over until the person dies. And the bad rehab and care centers get away with this action. And today, they are getting away with it over and over and over. How? They are getting away with it because many patients have no visitor that can see what the place is doing to the resident. And the really bad places try their best to stop the other patients from having visitors. What can you do about this?
You can help also by reading ALL the articles that talk about negligence and malpractice inside nursing homes. Print these articles here and have them circulated inside of libraries and other stores that give you permission to put these articles out there. If you are store owner, kindly post this article on your bulletin board and pass it around the colleges and other schools. Thank you for saving lives. If you work in a nursing home, I urge you to copy this and bring it inside the nursing home and circulate it amongst family members and visitors. Please spread the word. You can do this anonymously. Leave it in bathrooms in a safe place. Place one in peoples' rooms , of course with their permission. But spread this word about what is happening inside of these bad rehab and care centers and nursing homes. Pass the world, just like they passed the word about concentration camps, spread it person to person, business to business. Thank you, read more here.
Please check the email box at the top and circulate this to all your friends.
The average person would wince if they knew the truth. The truth is that each and every day, there are nursing homes and physical rehabilitation and care centers that make people sick. Instead of helping the patients get better, they allow them to vegetate. When elder care abuse occurs in the nursing home or physical rehabilitation and care centers across the nation, that abuse is more apt to be "covered up" because there are entire teams of people to do the covering up. In other words, something happens inside of a rehabilitation and care center or nursing home; it happens at "one level" -- for example, inside a patient's room or in the bathroom or other solitary places, and only that staff person sees what that staff person is doing or has done.
Once this abuse is "discovered" within the physical rehabilitation center or nursing home -it is the nursing home's "job" to see that this abuse is not 'let out " to the public. After all, the staff, in reality is there to protect the nursing home's image and to protect the nursing home's finances and future FIRST -before they are there to protect the patients. Anyone who has been behind the scenes and inside of nursing homes can see that in most places or in lots of nursing homes --the staff does just that - protects staff and the corporation from social and financial losses.
One of the worst abuses that some rehabilitation and care centers commit are those abuses where they permit patients (who are able) to recline in bed all day just because it is easier for the staff to do that. Patients who come into the center in fair condition begin to lose muscle because they are permitted to recline in bed for many long hours during the day and night. These abuses are intolerable yet they still exist today in some centers and nursing homes.
Wheelchairs as Restraints: Another of the worst abuses in bad nursing homes is when they use wheelchairs as restraints. Wheelchairs are supposed to make residents lives easier and happier. They are not supposed to be used as restraints, but in the bad nursing homes and in the bad rehabilitation and care centers, the wheelchairs are restraints. Most of the residents on their long term care floor are basically prisoners and they wait for hours to go to the bathroom even though they are fully aware they have to go and they tell residents they have to go.
Most times, in these offending rehab centers, the residents are forced to wear diapers even if they do not want to wear a diaper. Would you want to wear a diaper if you did not need to wear one? No. But in the offending rehab centers, the residents are forced to wear them. Their other choice is to sit in their wet, cold clothing for hours and hours (because no staff brings them to the bathroom). The staff keeps the residents in wheelchairs and diapers as a matter of control, and as a matter of less work for them. (If a resident has no clean clothes, the resident (bound to his wheelchair cannot come out of the room and stays isolated in there). Once they are bound to their room, the staff has less work. That is one less resident that they have to care for. So watch out for places that use the wheelchair as restraints, because most likely they will use diapers for their convenience, even though some patients do not need nor do they want to be in diapers.
Discern: What is the difference between a place that is using wheelchairs as restraints and one that uses wheelchairs only when necessary? Look around. Go into many of the homes to visit. If you see tons of people in wheelchairs, just sitting around for hours (not for minutes), then you know that place is using wheelchairs as restraints. They make the people in wheelchairs wait and wait and wait and wait for ordinary living things like having meals or going to the bathroom. The good place that uses wheelchairs only when necessary has residents in wheelchairs too, except the residents do not have to wait for hours and hours to go to the bathroom. The waiting time is cut down, yet in the offending places, the waiting time is prolonged until no human being could wait that long.
Good verses Bad: That is the difference. And you will know as soon as you walk in whether the home really cares for residents or whether the home is just out to make money no matter what the residents feel like or look like. In the offending homes it is all about money. In the good homes, it is all about making residents and families comfortable. No one is making a blanket statement against all nursing home. However, the people who work inside of these nursing homes and care centers are well aware of what is happening. . This article is about the ones that are lacking in care, lacking in respect and about the ones that are daily breaking the law and on a daily basis violating the residents, patients and visitors' rights. There have been cases where staff inside of physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes have purposely covered-up wrong-doings to protect their own jobs and to continue to collect money from insurance for the benefit of the corporations that owned the rehab centers and nursing homes.
Now, here's the news breakers that you might want to notice:
Inside some Nursing Homes and Physical Rehabilitation and Care Centers:
- There are some residents and patients who have to wait an HOUR or more or sometimes two hours in order to go to the bathroom. Sometimes when residents complain about the treatment or complain about the lack of care, the residents are punished for speaking out. This is why you will not hear the complaints of the residents who are presently inside these nursing homes and physical rehabilitation and care centers.
- There are some residents who are emotionally forced into wearing diapers because the staff lets them wait so long to go to the bathroom and the residents know this and thus they have to wear diapers against their will OR they have to sit in wet clothing for hours because no one can or will take them to the bathroom when they NEED to go to the bathroom
- There are sometimes walls of people in wheelchairs in the corridors. Some residents are put in 'recliner-type' wheelchairs which they cannot move. Some sit for hours and hours in a corridor with no one around. They are left in these chairs unattended, unable to move, unable to get out of the chair; they sit and just hope that someone passes by. Then, when and if they are permitted to have visitors, the place changes "atmosphere" and the staff makes it appear as if these residents are actually getting attention and care.
- There are some residents who are very afraid to speak up or to complain about these places because they have to be there all alone with the staff and SOMETIMES there are some staff who will retaliate against residents who complain about anything that happens behind the closed doors of these facilities. Speaking out is a punishable offense (though it is not legal, it still happens). Patients and residents are being punished for speaking out. Visitors and family members are being punished for speaking out. And this is the very reason why society needs to continue to speak out - for the protection of residents all over the United States of America and all over the world.
- There is a majority of staff --against a small amount of family members, so when it comes to complaining to staff, when family complains "verbally" , those complaints are and will be ignored; and when family complains in writing, those families are retaliated against and the facilities illegally stop visitors on false trumped up charges.
These are just a few of the horrible things that happen inside of some physical rehabilitation and care centers and some nursing homes , today and every day, or every other day. Yet, none of this is put in the newspapers. None of this is made public because families and residents and patients are afraid of further retaliation. So, where does the buck stop? Who can help these residents and families. What can you do about these horrible injustices? How can we help those people inside of nursing homes and inside of physical rehabilitation centers?So, how do you help change lives? How do you change the system that is damaging many seniors and disabled individuals? How can you look inside of a nursing home and or rehabilitation and care center and bring care to those that might not be receiving care? You can help and you can help today. YOU, yes YOU -- can make a big difference in this world today.Read and learn how you can help in this world today, help residents, help patients and help save a life today!
- Get together with your local community organizations and or churches or synagogues
- BRING this to their attention, and ask that a committee be formed. Have that committee arrange to go inside of nursing homes and into physical rehabilitation and care centers. Have them write and or call and ask for permission to bring visitors and programs inside of the facilities.
- Organize holiday concerts or programs that you can bring in during regular days, weekdays and weekends into any of these residences.
- Approach your local nursing homes and rehab centers and tell them that you want to help the residents become connected on the internet so they can contact their families which are usually in other states or countries.
- BRING as many visitors as you can bring in to visit these patients and residents, (Ask permission from relatives and then sign in at the security desk of the nursing home. Tell them what you are there for and they should lead you to where you are due).
Why You Would Want to Help:
Here is what we observed while visiting a physical rehabilitation and care center in the United States:
- Have you ever noticed that when the supervisors knew that visitors would be coming into the place, there seemed to be a 'mysterious' burst of extra employees and extra care and extra attention to residents while the visitors where inside the building. On ordinary days, when there usually was a lack of care or negligence due to lack of staff or missing staff or staff that just wasn't there or staff that was overworked -- that was the situation, but somehow , when the visitors were inside the building, there was an abundance (compared to regular days) of staff and everyone "seemed" to be attentive to residents and nicer to residents because they were putting on the "show' for the public.
- Have you ever noticed that once the visitors left the building (most visitors left even though there were many hours of visiting hours left , so one or two visitors remained), that the staff mysteriously got 'busy' somewhere else, and that is the time when residents were forced to wait one or two hours to be brought to the bathroom. If a resident needed a bathroom while a visitor is present, somehow that resident was able to get to the bathroom (while witnesses were there), but once all the visitors left -- the residents went back to having lack of care and to some possible negligence and or malpractice.
- One family member even overheard that one resident simply walked out of the rehabilitation center and the staff was not even aware that she was missing until she had gone miles from the place. No one noticed that this lady was missing! Imagine that? They were so busy doing other things, that they didn't have time to keep an eye out for a patient who obviously needed to be watched and cared for.
- Family members have told me that sometimes the staff made certain residents 'cry', that these residents were not crying when the visitors were there (there are witnesses when visitors come into these places). And no staff wants a resident crying or complaining while the visitors are present.
- Some have noticed that in some places, supervisors and administrators lie right to the faces of family. We noticed that most of the staff diligently covers up what happens as soon as they want to cover it up. We noticed many things that we cannot type here. But trust that it is all true.
If you visit and stay long enough inside some facilities, you will see that some facilities are guilty of lack of care -- at the minimum and guilty of more than that probably to this very day. Inside some nursing homes and inside some physical rehabilitation centers some residents are totally helpless and can not find anyone to complain to. effectively to (Even though the law provides avenues of complaints and even though the law provides departments and organizations that residents "CAN" complain to) Some of the residents are totally helpless and cannot safely and healthily make legitimate complaints about lack of care , so they remain there in their sad situation. The residents know that they have to stay there and that it is not easy or almost impossible to get out of there, so they are stuck with their complaints and stuck with their situations until visitors come to see them.
Help Save Lives and Help Change Lives Forever, try these:
- Ask your co-workers to form a team that will visit individual residents in places like these. Contact the caregivers and family members of the residents and tell them that you would like to begin visits to that nursing home and ask their permission to visit their family members who reside in those places.
- Ask your boss to begin a program where you work that will enable your workers to visit people inside of nursing homes.
- If you know Geraldo Rivera or if you know any other journalists or media people personally, ask them to help uncover the injustices that are happening on a daily basis throughout nursing homes in Staten Island, NY, and all along the east and west coast. Ask anyone you know that has finances or community backing to help you begin to organize groups of people that will legally go into nursing homes to visit people. Contact us if you need names of nursing homes that can use your help in saving lives.
- Advertise and seek out voluntary lawyers and legal professionals to help families deal with the red tape that some of the offending nursing homes and physical rehab centers dish out to families and residents who make legitimate complaints.
- IF you know anyone who does radio shows or tv shows, ask them for free time to talk about the abuse that happens inside of nursing homes, and ask them to put a call out to lawyers and to other professionals who will help to work for social change inside of nursing homes.
- ASK everyone you know to go and visit inside of nursing homes whenever and where ever possible. (always check with the families first and always obtain permission.
- Go through your community and ask all families who have people inside of these facilities if you have permission to write to these seniors. Donate stamps and envelopes to seniors and write back and forth to them. Keep them connected. This is extremely important. Ask the families if you can telephone these seniors or disabled individuals and then do that once you gain permission.
- If you are phoning someone at a nursing home and they never answer the pay phone, document that fully. Document how many times the phones ring and document how many hours or days or weeks it takes you to actually reach the resident.
- All of the above information will be quite helpful at Congressional and public hearings when they come up. You can save lives and you can change conditions. Please help in all these community projects.
- Write to us to share your ideas about what you or your organization are doing to help things get better. Share your information . You can help.
BY doing any and all of these things you will help change the conditions inside of nursing homes. Here's another way you can help. Be in contact with residents inside of these places. Reach out to isolated patients via email and via telephone calls. Contact is what changes things inside of nursing homes and inside of physical rehab and care centers. Contact someone today to begin your own project.
Here are people to contact:
- Contact your Senator or your Congressman to ask for public hearings regarding the conditions inside of nursing homes and rehab centers. (When discussing the problems inside of nursing homes be sure to emphasize that you are speaking about physical rehabilitation and care centers also. These problems are not only restricted to nursing homes). When speaking of the issues, remember to use that wording "rehabilitation and care centers" or rehabilitation centers. This will make your investigations and reports more complete than if you just speak about nursing homes.
- Contact any of your local community organizations and ask for help in changing conditions "behind the walls" of nursing homes. Go to your local community leaders and ask them where you can go to for help. Reach out to everyone you know in your neighborhood and ask for referrals. You will find the right person to help if you just keep asking as many people as you can ask.
- Contact other families in your communities. Contact them through PTA meetings and contact them through business improvement meetings and contact them through various meetings that happen in your community. Once you contact them ask EVERYONE to participate in some way to help isolated nursing home residents. Ask some to write letters to Congress or to the Mayor. Ask others to contact patients' families and ask permission to visit. Ask the professionals, doctors, nurses and lawyers to come forth and say the truth about what happens behind the closed doors of those places. You can do it. You can help!
- If you know a lawyer, or a professional worker, enlist them to help in this campaign against nursing home and physical rehabilitation centers abuses and malpractices.
Some simple ways you can help: First, Believe!
In order to help, you must believe. You will hear some incredible stories and they are true stories. You need to be able to listen to them and then to assure the patients or residents that you do believe what they are saying. This is some of the most valuable help that you can give someone -- first, believe. You can help by believing the resident. Once inside these places, when residents complain to their families about the mistreatment or lack of care, the first thing that some families respond with is 'disbelief" . After all, who would want to believe that PAID staff is not caring for their relatives. Who would want to believe that they put their relatives in a place that is possibly mistreating the relatives.
The best way you can help is believing the words of the residents when they complain that the nursing home staff is giving them lack of care or giving them abuse., believe them. Do not think that they are making up stories. Believe them. They are in no position to make up stories. They do not want to complain. They are afraid to complain about staff . So believe them. They feel safer complaining when you are there visiting them. So that's why they mention it to you. And then once you leave , they are left to stay there. So believe them. Take them at their word. That's how you can help. There are things happening inside of those centers that should not happen, yet they are there to witness it , and when you do not believe their words, when you doubt them, you take their hearts and dispose of them. So believe them. If someone is complaining to you about conditions inside of a facility, go and ask your Pastor, Priest or Rabbi how the community and how the church can help the residents. Please reach out to these people who need help. You can save a life today!
Handling the red tape of refusals:
- Diligently document times, dates, days, places and the people that you speak with. Put all your requests in writing to help document. For example, write a very friendly letter stating that you want to come in and entertain or be with residents as part of your community project or school project. Tell them when you would like to visit (and try to arrange these projects during times when there are no visiting hours). When the facility refuses to let you entertain the residents or visit with residents, later ask to do the same - visiting- during regular visiting hours.
- Document each and every request for each and every visit to each facility. Note the name and time and date of your request - and the name of the person that you speak with. Focus on one facility at a time. You can begin with those in the largest cities and work to those out in the country. We need help sending visitors into East Coast cities - those nursing homes that seem the hardest-hit. If there is any facility who refuses to cooperate , or any that seem to be hiding something, it would appear that those would be the ones needing the most help and the most visitors. (Connect with your lawyers and investigators in your own cities to see what kinds of help you can receive).Obtain permissions from any of the families and from any of the residents and patients that you wish to visit. And do this all year round. Visitors are needed every single day of the year, and especially on weekends.
- If you are in a position of political power, think about your own relatives who someday might wind up in a nursing home or rehab center. If you think you can avoid this malpractice by sending them to a good fancy home, you are mistaken. What affects one person affects all people. Please help spread the world.