ManorCare Health Services, Inc.

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Stay far away from ManorCare
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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN -- This is a copy of the letter I sent to the CEO of ManorCare Health Services. One of our relatives, 96 years old, had a hip replacement and was in need of a nursing home after being discharged from the hospital.

Dear Manor Care Health Services,

One of the hardest decisions someone makes in their life is what nursing home to choose for a loved one. So many details and issues must be thought on. And even then, learning to trust a nursing home is a difficult concept. Any nursing home should provide good care to their residents, period. Good therapy services, nurses, CNA’s, and activities are essential to any nursing home.

When we toured Manor Care West in Green Bay, WI, we thought it would be suitable for our loved one. Had we known how many issues with neglect and possible abuse we would have with this nursing home, we would not have even considered Manor Care West. But, we didn’t know these things, so, we signed the papers and reserved a room. When our relative (whose name I will not disclose) arrived at the facility, she was helped into bed. We had a long conversation with Katie, LPN, regarding what our relative would need in terms of care. We told her that she would need help with eating, and that she would not use the call bell to summon help as this person would never wanted to be a “burden” on anyone. Our relative, 96, had a partial hip replacement and was having extreme problems with pain and many other health issues. We told them everything we knew and they assured us everything would be taken care of.

The room our relative received was very rundown and looked like it had not been touched since the day the facility opened. Brown water stains covered the ceiling; paint was chipped off from the rusty bathroom door, the furnishings we severely scratched, etc. The electric bed was extremely jerky and looked very old. The room door also completely blocked the bed closest to the wall, so if a person was walking in the hallway, they could not see that bed. When we arrived to visit our relative on a Saturday at 10:30 AM, we found significant signs of neglect. Her breakfast tray was out of reach, and no one assisted her to eat. Her food had crusted from sitting out and was obviously not fit to eat.

Apparently, a nurse had done a blood draw. Our relative’s hands were bloody and the bedding was stained with blood. Dirty band aids, used bandages, used washcloths, towels, and gowns were on the floor. We spoke with Andrea in the Business Office regarding our concerns. During the entire duration of our relatives stay, the room was not cleaned at all. On that same day, in a 6 hour time period, no one came to reposition our relative. It is standard in any Health Care facility that patients need to be repositioned every 2 hours. Waiting for 6 hours is just asking for bedsores and is a major sign of significant neglect. No assistance with feeding is also a sign of neglect.

Just as appalling was the nursing staff. I will admit that there were a couple very nice, compassionate employees. Brenda, CNA and Nikki, RN, were both very kind to our relative and to our family. However, I wish I could say the same for the rest of the nursing staff. The daytime RN’s would just sit at the nurse’s station and would not even make eye contact with us if we went to them with concerns or questions. I would like to mention Pat (or Pam, I can’t remember) who is an LPN, who was working at the Medicare Nurses Station on 8/12/2007. This employee was extremely rough with our relative when she came to reposition. She should have had two people to help when repositioning, but she moved her by herself. She caused our relative pain from being jerked around so severely. She also did not seem to care at all when she realized she caused our relative pain. While I was glad someone came to reposition her, a nurse should never do something by themselves if it means causing pain. They should go and get another employee to assist them. When we requested one day that our relatives vital signs be taken, it took nursing staff 1 1/2 hours to come. When we came to get our relatives belongings when our relative was hospitalized during her nursing home stay, the RN did not seem aware that our relative wasn’t there. Manor Care’s website speaks in great detail about the “quality of caring, and the Circle of Care training.” The majority of the staff in this nursing home act like they couldn’t care less about the “care” they give to residents. There were many CNA’s who acted like they didn’t know how to do basic cares.

I will admit there is one good thing about this facility. The therapy department was absolutely fantastic. Good therapists and good ideas for therapy. However, a therapy department is only one of the vital aspects a good nursing home needs. A good nursing home needs: caring, compassionate staff, a clean and comfortable environment, a safe environment, a good activities department, and good therapy. This facility provided only one of those things; good therapy. I will be sending a copy of this letter to the Manor Care CEO, and one to the Executive Director of this facility. I am remaining anonymous as I do not want to be contacted on this matter. I merely want to make people aware of what goes on in this nursing home. I will advise all of my family and friends to stay far away from any Manor Care facility, anywhere in the nation.

Thank you.


I realize that no nursing home is perfect, regardless of how much it costs or how good the staff to patient ratio is. But, any nursing home, is responsible for doing basic cares and actually taking CARE of their residents. Not feeding, not repositioning, and ignoring residents is considered neglect and abuse. Luckily, a bed opened up at an independently owned nursing home, and we moved her there after her hospital stay. ManorCare is great if you need therapy and can move around and do things yourself. But if you need lots of help, forget ManorCare.
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User Replies:
firengine103 on 08/19/2007:
Nice letter BUT, why are you leaving this person there? you don't have to. Why are you remaining anonymous to the care home (they know who you are) you don't have to. And, why, are you sending this letter to this forum? What about the care home advocacy groups, state officials who license the facilities, BBB and many other groups who watchdog over these things. Rest homes are a hellish place to die, but that's what we do. YOUR job to make it best as you can.
DebtorBasher on 08/19/2007:
FamilyTravel...I know exactly what you're going through and how difficult it is to have to make a decision like this. We took care of my Grandfather who was in his 90's and. Our Entire family moved to another State to take care of him so he wouldn't have to be put into a nursing home. However, after a while he was just very hard to handle on our own and his doctor said he needed to be put into a nursing home. Being the small town it was, we knew the nursing home and quite a few of the people who worked there. Even knowing that, we still made sure that at least one family member was there EVERYDAY at lunch time to help feed him. My Uncles would go and shave him, clip his nails and those kind of things. We always made sure he was not wet...he was still able to use the bathroom, if someone was there to help him get to the bathroom. So, even with a good quality nursing home, it is still important for family to be there and it sounds like you were. Yes, it was difficult to make sure that someone was going to be there for him everyday...and even more difficult to make sure that the person who said they were going to go, actually went. He lived to be 98 and I know we've done everything we can to make his remaining days comfortable for him. He always knew when we would be there...we made sure he had the bed by the window...he enjoyed watching out the window even through his aging eyes. We took a rocking chair for him and he had it in front of the window and would watch for us to come...and we would not disappoint him by not showing up. Good for you for moving your relative, but I'd let them know who I was and I would have taken pictures of what you seen.

103...the posted did state that they moved their relative to an independently owned nursing home, when a space was available.
jktshff1 on 08/19/2007:
I sympathize with you, been there, done that. firengine makes good points.
I will never go to a nursing home.
firengine103 on 08/19/2007:
DB, Missed that part, good for them.
familytravel on 08/19/2007:
We would have liked to avoid ManorCare in the first place, but the independently owned nursing home that we liked best had no beds available. Luckily, as I stated, after our relatives second hospital stay, a bed opened up there and we transferred her there immediately. Firengine--Some nursing homes, such as ManorCare West, are hellish places to die. Aand when that happens, we shouldn't just sit back and say "that's what we do." What we should really do is find better care, and let as many people as you can know about the bad nursing home. I am in the process of alerting state officials. An excellent website to use for nursing home quality is It lists health/safety/fire violations for every nursing home in the country. It also includes information regarding if the nursing home is a corporation, private independently owned, or government run.
DebtorBasher on 08/19/2007:
Thanks for that link, Familytravel...I'm sure a lot of people will find it useful.
Anonymous on 08/19/2007:
Great for you, familytravel(the transfer!!). Many nursing homes are just a temp stop, when you really don't have the time (yes, it happens), or, the availability just then.

I really think this is a great review. I am currently helping my parents look for an 'assisted living' vs. a nursing home for my uncle locally.

I'm sure many people would appreciate this, as many have similar situations. I certainly do..

familytravel on 08/19/2007:
Thank you DebtorBasher for being so kind and understanding. It is very difficult to watch a loved one go through this process in their life. We always have someone visit once a day because it is vitally important to visit daily to make sure things are OK. Your family sounds like they did everything they could for your Grandfather. My sympathies to you for his passing. Thanks again.
firengine103 on 08/19/2007:
With my statement "that's what we do" is truer than you would like to believe. I'm a retired Firefighter Paramedic with many years dealing with patient care or lack of in nursing homes. "that's what we do" refers to the hundreds of lonely abandoned people I've seen over a 37 year career. As in many instantanes, nursing homes are a dumping ground for those unable to care for themselves. I applaude you for "being there" and doing all you can. But trust me, there are many out there with no hope for a caring compassionate moment.
Anonymous on 08/19/2007:
Firengine103, I'm with you. I applaud the OP for doing what she can.

I also deal with the same patients you are referring to. I think it's awesome for a family member to be SO proactive. I know you and I have seen differently, and, it's very sad.
familytravel on 08/19/2007:
I agree with you firengine. There are many people who are stuck in nursing homes that really are awful. My comment is only to say that when families face these nursing homes, they should try their best to get their family member out. Thanks for the kind comments emt c. Assisted Living is another hard thing to pick out. Our family has been through Assisted Living with loved ones over and if you ever have any questions just e-mail me! Good luck!
familytravel on 08/19/2007:
Since we're on this topic--does anyone have any advocacy group contact info for WI? I'm having a really hard time finding any information online.
Anonymous on 08/19/2007:
family, great review. I worked as a CNA a long time ago and I really appreciate your trying to recognize the staff who were good to your relative. The patients that got the best care were the ones whose family members were there all the time, plain and simple. But many of us really cared and did the best we could and I am truly sorry for what you all went through, nobody should be treated that way.
familytravel on 08/19/2007:
Thanks, amaniR. I think CNA's have a very tough job, and I have a lot of respect for the ones that do their job the best they can.
caramel86 on 09/13/2007:
Great review Family Travel!
Sorry about your relative having to go through that, that's very sad....
This is very informative I like how you listed the bad points and how observant you are with the staff and also despite the bad part that had happened, you were able to recognize the good, very informative!

Ps: I see all of you got some experience in the medical field... if it counts for anything... I'm cpr certified! =)
concerned Dad on 10/23/2009:
I am currently experienceing the same thing with Manor Care. Our 25 year old daughter has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. While she is currently in remission, there have been some complications. She was released from the hospital and sent to the Manor Care facility in Arlington, VA. The hospital sent her with very specific instructions as to her care, and event sent medical supplies with our daughter. After a total of 3 days without the necessary care, my wife went to see our daughter and met with her nurse. The nurse informed my wife that the hospital's instructions were wrong, and she felt that the instructions did not have to be followed. The balance of the time that the nurse spent with my wife, the nurse kept on appempting to get more money to pay for extra care. When my wife refused, Manor Care told my daughter that she would have to check out tomorrow morning, and that the insurance company was refusing to pay. After calling the insurance company, it appears that Manor Care has not provided ANY of the paperwork needed for any payment. In my opinion, all Manor Care seems to care about is getting more money from the family for this "extra" level of care. If the family cannot afford this extra money, the patient goes out the door!

Organizations like this have no business being in business!
zug on 11/13/2010:
What does bother me is that this whole process of choosing a nursing home is veiled in mystery. You really don't know what you're getting before you've gotten it. They make you sign papers that essentially serve to protect the home from litigation while at the same time, you have no guarantee of high-quality care! I guess that's how it works in U.S. When we used Manor Care in Northbrook, IL, they reassured us that strong staff members could help my step-mom get to the bathroom, but in fact, that never happened, she was changed in her bed --yes the nurse was caring but where were the promised strong assistants? They did not exist. #2, when we decided to move mom back home, they hired an ambulance service that was a joke and that should have been the target of a lawsuit, because these jokers drove her around for 45 minutes and could not find our house 10 minutes from the home! Hello? When you are charged $300 for a 10 minute drive, can't you at least have GPS, or, ASK DIRECTIONS? Idiots. My advice: NEVER give your loved one to an independent ambulance service, if you can transport them yourselves. JohnK, Northbrook, IL
trmn8r on 11/13/2010:
Excellent letter all around. We cared for my mother during her hip replacements and subsequent decline, and were in many facilities. There was one in particular that was as bad as this one sounds.

What we found is that it was best for us to "be there". Literally. During several stays, one of us was there in her room around the clock. Impossible for many people, I know. A sad state of affairs.

We noted the problem in many of the facilities was one of finances/staffing. Even the best one, an intensive rehab facility, had a major air HVAC failure. An temporary unit was trucked in, but we are convinced my mom actually had a stroke due to heat stress.
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