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September 25, 2011

After a severe stroke and other medical complications, my husband “M” spent eight months in a “good” nursing home and received terrible “care.”

On day one, neither the admitting nurse or physician noticed that “M” had a large bandaged wound on his upper arm. l called it to their attention on the fourth day to change the dressing.

Unfortunately, that was just the beginning.

“M” was frequently left in his urine-soaked bed. I visited almost every day and very often found him laying in strong-smelling urine. He had numerous urinary tract infections which were not adequately treated. (After I took him out of the nursing home and put him in an assisted living center, I took him to an infectious disease doctor, who cured him.)

His blood sugar dropped to the forties at one point. He got pneumonia. A nurse dropped bandage material on the floor, then used it on “M’s” open wound. The aide staff made “M” pull his partially paralyzed body up in bed, rather than use a sheet draw. The nursing home doctor never initiated a neurological evaluation or other aggressive therapy to help “M” recover as much as possible. He only received the proper services AFTER I took him out of the nursing home.

I kept a diary and frequently brought my concerns to the attention of the medical director, verbally and in writing. But those efforts never resulted in any longterm progress or corrective action. After “M” was situated in the assisted living center, I filed a complaint with the state agency charged with investigating bad nursing home care. After months of “investigating” the agency found no significant deficiencies.

If you or a family member is made to endure bad care in a nursing home, keep records of the nursing home abuse or neglect. Call it to the attention of the nursing home, and I advocate that you sue the nursing home [find a nursing home abuse lawyer] in Small Claims Court for breech of contract. It doesn’t cost much and it is an opportunity to have a public hearing. We were awarded more than $7500.00 in California.

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