I have a friend who i am very proud of. About 6 months ago her mother died. She had been placed in a nursing home due to falling and breaking her hip at her own home. Shortly after being placed in the nursing home…she was dropped and injured. The family members moved her to a new facility but, it was too late.
Most nursing homes are good ones. They care for their patients and they do it lovingly. Family members are encouraged to be part of the environment. They are included in the treatment, care and decision making regarding their loved one. Most nursing homes treat family with respect. Most people who get into the medical profession do it with pride and passion; they care deeply for those who come to them in need.
There are, unfortunately, some care facilities or individuals that don’t provide that same level of care; it is hard to know the difference until you have a loved one involved. No one wants to find out that the home their loved one is in, is one of the homes with a poor record of safety.
From the fall at the first nursing home her arm was broken. She died within days. The second nursing home took very good care of her. The first nursing home denied any wrong doing. They said that she got injured when she got out of her “electric hospital bed”. This supposedly happened with a broken hip. It was a falsehood because her bed was a crank bed. The mother told her daughter that she was afraid. She didn’t want to stay because “she didn’t want them to drop her like they did before”. This was a quote from the patient. The staff denied any such incident happened.
Luckily, my friend didn’t believe the staff that told her the falsehoods. She tried to get answers to her questions.
From the fall she had at the nursing home…my friend’s mother was covered in bruises so bad that she had them all over her back and her front; plus the broken arm. When her mother died…my friend followed her instincts and had a medical examiner check her mother out. They took pictures. Documentation is always very important in these situations.
The medical examiner told the family that there was no way that she could have gotten out of a bed with that broken hip. She couldn’t have broken her arm by getting out of bed because, she wouldn’t have been able to put any weight on that hip. He said that her injuries were not caused by a mere fall.
It was just a matter of days between her fall at home; and then, the injuries that she incurred at the nursing home. The medical examiner wrote a letter with his findings.
Adult protective services were contacted but they said that the charts were up to date at the alleged negligent nursing home and therefore, there was no documentation that there was any dropping incident. No, they said that my friends suspicions were wrong. They said that was the end of it.
My friend grieved the loss of her mother. Still, she was feeling that things were not right. So she contacted a lawyer and got an investigation going. It has now come to light, that the nursing home has finally admitted that my friend’s mother was indeed dropped. By following her instincts, she proved that her suspicions were correct.
So, it was a terrible thing that this happened. My friend lost her mother needlessly. However, her instincts told her that even though her mother had some dementia…her fear was justified.
Her mother had been improperly cared for. The records may have been doctored. The family was told falsehoods. Responsibility had not been taken. What’s more…how often was this happening to others in their facility? No one was believing that there were problems until this happened.
The first nursing home is now being required to make changes in their facility(within 30 days) that will help to prevent this from happening to another family. They will have to notify my friend of their reports and of the changes. It won’t bring my friend’s mother back…but, it may help to prevent another family from having to go through a similar experience.
God gave us instincts for a reason; we have to learn to listen to them and follow up. I am proud of my friend and her dedication to her mother.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and you have had incidents/accidents that aren’t explained fully; you can contact an ombudsman at the administration on aging. Their website is: http://www.aoa.gov/