I took this picture last night at the long-term care facility where my mother resides. It was a bad night for me, for staff, and especially for the residents. This woman is unable to lift her head - she is NOT sleeping. She is unable to eat on her own and no one fed her because the one direct care employee that was working was only able to serve people their food. She could not also stop and feed one individual at a time. The staff needed, and the resident needed, HELP. She should be in a chair that tilts back, or maybe even on a feeding tube. But, to sit in her wheelchair like this - I just could not even make sense of it. She didn't eat.
This resident also uses an oxygen tank, and upon my arrival yesterday, I found her in distress because it was not plugged in - she was in significant distress. No one was around to help her. The nurse on shift was wonderful, and so was the one direct care employee. However, they were trying to help 17 residents. So, of course, there is going to be neglect (and in this case, this neglect is not the fault of these direct care employees, but instead the administration).
If these residents were all ambulatory and could help themselves, that might be another story. However, 17 people - most requiring significant, and some even total, care, there is simply NO way to provide even adequate care - forget "quality care"!
This has been happening regularly at my mom's facility since this new company took over in February - mainly in the evenings and on the weekends - when the management is nowhere to be found. Prior, the nonprofit organization running the facility was wonderful.
The following is an excerpt from Ohio Administrative Code, Chapter 3701-17 Nursing Homes:
"Each nursing home shall have sufficient direct care staff on each shift to meet the needs of the residents in an appropriate and timely manner and have the following individuals provide a minimum daily average of two and one-half hours of direct care and services per resident per day as follows..."
This facility is not meeting the needs of its residents, and forget in any "timely manner". It is quite simple as to why: they do not have enough staff scheduled. And when employees call off, they are not ensuring that there is adequate back up.
I decided this morning (after not sleeping last night) to start this blog for many reasons, but mainly because I cannot get this woman off my mind. She represents everyone that is unable to advocate for themselves.
Enough is enough. I know these things are happening everywhere and every...single...day. This is of course a substantial reason why I launched CareSpotlight.
While I continue to raise money to build the comprehensive care and service directory with review capability, I have decided that I will begin posting users' reviews and care stories on CareSpotlight,com. It might not be in the "perfect" format for now, but at least we can begin to share your feedback with others.
Please, submit your review today or share your story by clicking on the buttons below.
My name is Colleen Beard and I am the founder of CareSpotlight.com -CareSpotlight is a startup company working on launching a national directory of care and service providers for seniors and individuals of all ages living with disabilities, illness and serious injuries. Users will be able to post and read reviews, connect with others and access additional resources and information. We also offer local patient advocacy services in Northeast Ohio.