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.
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.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN -- I cannot even begin. The first week that we went into the private pay category, (between 8400, and 8600 per month) the director informed me that my father's week old, 1400 dollar hearing aid had been lost, and also told me that they would pay for it. Due to her honesty, I allowed them to use our discount coupon, that came with the purchase, which allowed replacement for 250 dollars, regardless of the reason for loss or destruction of said hearing aid. It was lost again, after six months, and they refused to replace it. They blamed it on my father, for whom I pay this money for them to watch.
Instead, they bought him a 200 dollar talk box, which is ineffective, and simply lies on a table. They fail to heed his DNR, and send him to the hospital, every time he has any type of pain, by ambulance, at great expense, though the hospital Is 20 yards from their door. They forced me to get a hospice service involved, in order to not have him sent to the hospital, every time he had chest pain. This I did, and found that my monthly bill was reduced, by roughly 6000 dollars. I contacted the new director, who assured me that this was now the proper billing, and would remain so.
This allowed me to assure the assisted living facility, in which my mother, an Alzheimer's patient, to remain, and I made a commitment there. Oh, sorry, wrong answer. Now they not only want the 8000 plus for this month, but the additional 6000 for last month. I have had to fight my dad, to stay in his wheel chair, while waiting for assistance, from staff members eating cookies, and chatting in the hall. When I complained, I was "handled". I have run a service business for most of my life. If I handled it this way, Well, ya know.
I intend to make it my mission, to see that others, in the future, will not be financially bled to death, while the service that their loved ones receive, is so incredibly subhuman. Please do not get me wrong. There are many in this facility, that are true caring professionals. The management is not, and the few caregivers who are not, are horrible. They have bled us dry. However, they have not heard the last of me.