Selecting A Nursing Home, Or Call It A “Care Center,” If You Wish

Michelle, over at The Green Study, offers lots of insight and information, as all good bloggers should. And, she is an excellent writer. For example:

“And here’s a tip: If a waft of urine rolls over you when you open the front door of a nursing home (euphemistically now called a Care Center), this might not be the place for your loved one. Also, if the employees’ name tags are handwritten on pieces of paper taped to their uniforms, this might indicate also NOT A PLACE FOR YOUR LOVED ONE. I saw both during tours yesterday.”

Doesn’t “a waft of urine” just about say it all? The Green Study is located here.

Here’s hoping that, when the time comes, I will skip right past the nursing home, or care center, or whatever they call it, and go directly to hospice care. However, we’re not going to think about this any more today.

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7 thoughts on “Selecting A Nursing Home, Or Call It A “Care Center,” If You Wish

  1. sledpress

    I sprung my late and ex husband out of one of those urine-wafting places — like Errol Flynn, or Robin Hood. Literally wrapped in sheets. He had only two days left, but he died in a decent hospital.

    The sad thing was that the “nursing supervisor” of the shift that I disrupted, who looked like a defensive end, was totally sympathetic to my raid and let me review each and every page of my L and X’s medication records, proving to my satisfaction that they were essentially pumping him full of unneeded drugs so as to maximize their Medicaid reimbursement. Defensive End helped me lift him from the wheelchair to the car; he needed a job, so he worked there, but he didn’t have to like it.

    Some of this shit will stop if we ever get universal health care and take out the profit motive.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Editor (Retired) Post author

      A great story. You are a hero, with an assist from the nursing supervisor. The moral of this story, which you ended appropriately with a plug for universal health care, is: VOTE FOR BERNIE.

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      1. sledpress

        I should clarify that by the time my L&X, at the time 76 years old (mentally ill, homeless and pretending to everyone he wasn’t), reached the stage of release from the hospital to a “care facility,” he was dependent on Medicaid and this was the only place with a Medicaid bed open. It was also five minutes from my house, which I considered important. I’d had clients in there (who escaped and recovered after orthopedic rehabs and the like) and knew roughly what was going on, but I was amazed that the overall supervisor, Defensive End’s boss, actually tried to go toe to toe with me when I pointed out that L&X was disoriented and had forgotten overnight a phone number (mine) that he had known for eighteen years and which for eight of those years had been his as well. “People on chemo often don’t feel right,” she said, trying to blow it off. They didn’t want to lose the dough. I called the office of the hospitalist who had supervised his initial treatment, asking for him to clear everything with the Death Camp Care Center, and then just proceeded with the exodus.

        The original plan had been ridiculous anyway — for him to stay long term at the “Care Center” and then go to chemo treatments across the state line, half an hour away even in a car, in an area with horrible, almost useless public transit. Because he had to be housed in the same state where he had his Medicaid, because of a fragmented, incoherent health care system’s absurd slaps at “cost containment.” No one thinks about the strain these “you can go here but not there” edicts inflict on sick people and their families. The cause of death was septicemia, and it was really better than death by inches from metastatic cancer, but after two months in the hospital it only took five days in the nursing home for the infection to set in. They were first in line with their hands out by the way. The hospital’s charity board forgave all his outstanding expenses.

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      2. Editor (Retired) Post author

        Thanks for sharing that horror story Ms Sled. Every patient in hospitals and nursing homes needs a patient advocate like you. Without an advocate, places are a hazard and impediment to the patient. Quality hospitals with caring staff who are not overworked are hard to come by. Of course, the wealthy can always pay for the best care.

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  2. Jean

    I’m a realist about this; both my parents spent the last few months of their lives in nursing homes. One thing I learned from that experience is that the nursing home ratings on Medicare.gov really mean something. If you can find a bed in a facility with a 5-star Medicare rating, grab it; and try not to settle for anything with fewer than 4 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Editor (Retired) Post author

      Sounds like excellent advice. Thank you Jean. I would add that for patients who are diagnosed to have a life expectancy of no more than six months, hospice care is an excellent option. Hospice care I believe, is most often provided for the patient at home. Care can often be provided by relatives or friends with the assistance of hospice nurses and staff. Sometimes the patient stays at an inpatient hospice facility. Hospice care tries to keep the patient as comfortable as possible through the final weeks of life.

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