MIL sprung from substandard nursing home/rehab facility


     Thursday Dear Hubby and I went to the HCR Manor Care Liberty Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to spring his mother from the facility.  We had an appointment for 1:15 to sign her release forms.  How unfortunate that they kept us waiting for a good 45 minutes.  During that time, the staff began to get the idea that I was somehow not pleased. 

The rules on how to deal with incompetent people who think they are superior:

  1. Be prepared to use police methods of interrogation and intimidation body language.
  2. Arrive early
  3. Have your verbal ammunition primed
  4. Stay cool and calm

      Upon entering the facility I said loud enough to make certain everyone around the reception area heard me, “The ADA should see exactly how handicapped accessible this place is—NOT.”  I had to wheel my MIL’s new wheelchair down twelve steps to get into the building.  In the elevator, I voiced a few complaints about accessibility again.  DH was enjoying this.

      I roamed the hall for a bit, asking a few staff members if they knew where this meeting was to take place.  No one did—what a surprise.  Finally, a woman showed up in my MIL’s room at a quarter to two apologizing for running late.  Before she changed the subject, I told her that the least she could’ve done was send someone in to us and let us know.  I mentioned that it was rude to keep us waiting for as long as she did but knowing the facility, I gathered that rude treatment was par for the course.  I hadn’t begun to tell her what I truly thought of the place and she was already stuttering.  She beat a hasty retreat telling us she’d send someone with my MIL’s release papers.

 An open letter to Healthcare workers,

 If you don’t have any compassion or empathy for your patients, find another career.  Why did you choose the job in the first place?  

If you are burned out, quit and go into another field.  When you are having a bad day don’t take it out on your patients their best day is probably worse than your worst day. 

Always keep in mind that person in the bed could be you one day and treat them as you’d want to be treated.  Do treat their family members, as you would want yours to be treated. 

The person you are caring for is not a side of beef, no matter how far gone you think his/her mind is, you have no idea how much they really know about what is going on around them or what is being said. 

The best thought to keep in your mind when working with a patient is “This could be me, my mother, father, daughter, son, or grandchild.”  I’m betting, with that always in mind, you’ll treat your patients better. 

You chose the healthcare field so do your jobs without neglecting, abusing, or belittling your patients.  Do not treat elderly patients like children; they’ve earned the right to be treated with the respect due them.

About doggonedmysteries

Agented Mystery Writer, Bull Terrier owner--I have one at the present time, Avid gardener.

Posted on May 24, 2009, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Amen!
    My only crime is to have crossed the 65 years old marker and the deterioration of my health care hasn’t been subtle. I’m reviewing intimidating body language techniques. To say nothing of “The Look”.

    • I did forget one rule, and that is “go in dressed in power clothes.”
      We can only hope that these healthcare workers who treat patients cruelly, with no respect or compassion, will have to one day go through the same ordeals they’ve put their patients through.

  2. Hi, I think your open letter is excellent. I get so annoyed with rude health workers.

    • Thank you, Lawrence. I find it beyond annoying to be treated rudely by them and then they wonder why they are miserable in their jobs. Could it possibly be because when they make their patients miserable that the patients respond in kind?

      Keep an eye on this blog because I have only just begun to fight.

  3. Ask at one of the offices in the care home to see a list of rights. And also ask who you can speak to about your concerns about your mother in law. In Illinois your rights as a person in a care home are also listed, framed on the wall, with contact information about how to send or contact someone in a qualified agency. These choices will get you positive results and you won’t have to feel helpless about not being able to help your mother in law.

    • Barbara,
      My MIL was in this place since February. We had their ‘bill of rights’ in hand. However, it was a daily struggle to get her proper care.

      For a month and a half they neglected to give her her medications of which they had a list and all instructions upon her admission. She had major surgery on her stomach years ago for an ulcer where she lost almost two thirds of her stomach and they were told that she was supposed to have several small meals a day not three very large meals, they ignored it.

      I even contacted their corporate headquarters and complained about the sub-standard care. I got no response from them. Although the staff must have been notified because a few of our complaints were half-heartedly addressed.

      The day she was released, I contacted our local newspaper and voiced my concerns, they are interested. I also gave them the names of two other patients’ families who were now safely out of that place. Our biggest concern was that while she was still in there I didn’t want to give them any excuse to make her stay more miserable than it already was.

  4. I am going to assume here that your MIL or her POA also put in a formal complaint to the proper state office (my mother has been in an Illinois care facility for 6 years with Alzheimers and cannot speak for herself, though I can speak for her as her POA)
    and that they are investigating. My mother is fortunate that she is in a good home with good care. My friend who had MS and who had to stay at one of the facilities here for 3 months had very bad care, and her husband and daughter were at there wits end because our state was not helping, leaving it up to a social worker. So, I sympathize with your problem…tell all your friends about the experience, so that their loved ones don’t go there. Maybe that is all you can do, but it is a help to warn others.

  5. Warning others helps a great deal. It helped me to make an informed decision when it was up to me to choose a home 6 years ago.

    • The hospital gave us very little notice or time to look for a rehab hospital. If we’d had more time to research facilities you’d better believe she wouldn’t have gone into that one for even an instant.

  6. Amen, sistah! I have been appalled at how we still treat our elderly and yet healthcare is the largest growing job field – I only hope and pray they start to teach better ways to deal with people who are less fortunate, may not understand language basics, have control over their own functions — we need to work on our compassion and we need to pay healthcare workers much more than they now make in my opinion. And we need better legislature to make the nasty places accountable. Hugs!

    • I’d argue with you on their pay because, at least around here, they are paid very well. In the case of several of the nurses in HCR Manor Care they are overpaid for what little they do. I watched one nurse pretend to be busy for over an hour while she waited for someone else to answer a call bell. Believe me, she was pretending–I’ve met her type before, in many occupations, total deadwood, that (as a manager) if she worked for me, she would’ve been fired on the spot.

      My complaints are seeing cold-hearted people in healthcare jobs where compassion is necessary. Corporations who are in the healthcare business for the almighty dollar and ransack a patient’s medicare and insurance while giving a minimum of care in horrible conditions. Is it no wonder that our health care costs us so much? Oh, and these corporations have no compunction about kicking a patient to the curb after they’ve squeezed every dime out of their insurance and the patient can’t pay them a thousand dollars a day.

      Yes, working in nursing homes, hospice care, and rehabilitation are burn-out jobs, but then so is police work and police officers put their lives on the line every day for a lot less pay and no thank-you.

  7. I am hoping that your MIL is doing well now, and won’t have to go back to any care rehabilitation center. And I’m glad that she has you both looking out for her!

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