Nursing home stay an eye-opener for advocate for elderly

  • Article by: BRAD SCHRADE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 26, 2011 - 11:26 AM

Advocate for elderly cuts short a "dehumanizing" visit in facility.

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changeagent2010Jul. 25, 1110:41 PM

I'm sorry Ms Holts had a bad experience, but at the same time I'm glad she did -- how else would she have learned the reality so many experience. All the "surprise" inspections and tours during her job would have revealed these truths. I think things would change in a lot of places if this sort of thing happened more often -- like the Dr who becomes a patient or a banker who needs to ask for a home loan or ....

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cmbjea6Jul. 25, 1110:46 PM

"What happened to Holtz is atypical" - NO IT IS NOT. I too was forced to go to a nursing home after serious surgical complications. I was ignored for 9 hours. The cord to call for help was placed out of reach, and nobody admitted me so I was not brought a meal. It was a night nurse who came in to check on my roommate and said "Who are you?". When I asked for my much needed post surgical pain med, nobody had ordered it so I had no pain meds for over 24 hours. I could write volumes about the treatment my confused father received. Horrible care in 2 different facilities.

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watmoreJul. 25, 1111:04 PM

She is nit-picking

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vangorder3Jul. 25, 1111:09 PM

I could write a very long book about horrible experiences with my husband in several different facilities throughout the Twin Cities. I would love to have coffee with Ms. Holtz.... I would even buy.

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KwkeMrtApuJul. 25, 1111:09 PM

In working somewhat directly with multiple nursing homes on a daily basis, I can attest that this is certainly NOT atypical. This is very typical, and I see it first hand.

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forpeopleJul. 25, 1111:27 PM

Unfortunately, many who work in these places are treated with no respect or dignity and receive less than living wages. Many of these staff, also unfortunately, take their frustrations out on patients. I have seen even R.N.s at these places coldly ignore choking patients. This low-budget and cruel system, unfortunately, is the system that Republicans want. In the last session, the Republicans cut spending on care for seniors and the disabled in many ways.

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registerJul. 25, 1111:41 PM

As a nursing home worker for over 25 years I can tell you there a far more good people than bad that work in nursing homes. Similarly, most people get very good care. Unfortunately for Warren Wolfe, The whistle blowers, and other media, that fact does not make good copy or sell papers and TV news. Much easier and more sensational to paint the whole industry with the broad brush that they all abuse, neglect and violate rights. Nursing homes and nursing home workers are the kicked cat of health care. The industry knows Deb- the fact that she is speaking out about what she sees as "dehumanizing experiences" is far from shocking. She is a vocal critic of nursing homes at the ombudsman program. Maybe everyone should be required to work in a nursing home for a year before they sit in judgement. I'm sure other posters will trash me as evidence of the problem with nursing homes- truth is I don't care what you or the media think. I care what our residents and their families think.

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redqidJul. 25, 1111:49 PM

A relative was in the hospital for several days and then was sent to a nursing home for what was to be a couple weeks. This relative has celiacs disease and cannot eat wheat products. The hospital said the nursing home was supposedly able to handle this diet. We also made sure to tell the staff. But at the first meal, here was the regular food with wheat products! We talked to the staff and they said they did not have gluten free foods, but could get some on MONDAY (this was on a Saturday). They did not see any problem with having wheat products for a few days. We were astonished. We ended up caring for this relative at home.

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crystalbayJul. 25, 1111:54 PM

This seems like a good opportunity to describe my own life-threatening experience in a well-known nursing home for six weeks last summer. I'm a very active 67-year old who free style dances hours every week. A year ago last January, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer. Although I danced all the way through weeks of daily radiation with an intravenous pic line in my arm (attached to a 24/7 chemo pump), the radical surgery at Mayo nearly ended my life. I had many complications which had me hospitalized for four months on a feeding tube. Toward the end of this ordeal, I wasn't quite sick enough to be in the hospital, but not well enough to be at home alone. It was at this point, nursing home rehab was my only option. It was a nightmare, especially for someone so young and normally vital. During the six weeks I was there, a raging infection around my feeding tube site was dismissed until my daughter drove me to my doctor. I was overdosed on a medication, making me terribly ill for a few days. My feeding tube administration was repeatedly fouled up. I'd wait for as long as an hour after calling for help. Ultimately, my newly-constructed stomach stopped working, causing me to refuse all food and water for several days. I grew sicker & sicker. My daughter was so alarmed at my deterioration that she drove me to Mayo where I was hospitalized for a full week on fluids & antibiotics. The nursing home staff should absolutely have begun intravenous hydration days before. The smells and the sights of how very old people end up were terribly depressing. I still have nightmares of being in prison there. I've thought about notifying the Public Health Dept. about medical negligence and may still do this, but I honestly believe that my recovery was set back weeks by my stay there and that my very life was at risk. I would rather die than ever end up in a nursing home again.

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davesthe1Jul. 25, 1111:57 PM

what do you expect with the over the top cost cutting and "streamlining" that has taken place. wages in these places substandard so they attract only kids and other disinterested people who may or maynot have any interest in the people they serve. we don't think about it till it's us or our loved ones and then outrage is what it becomes. protect the rich, heck with the rest...

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