The rehabilitation therapists are top notch. The nursing staff is competent. They are alert to changes in condition and alert family when problems arise. However, the nursing staff interacts with patients mainly for medication, doing little of the patient's personal care. To have a relative in this facility requires a real commitment to visit every day and be prepared to spend several hours a day there to make sure your relative is being cared for and kept clean.
Like many of the facilities in Bel Air, personal care is left to aides who, with only a few exceptions, are terrible. Poor work ethic from the CNA/NA staff seems rampant in the facilities we have experienced, and especially poor in this one. This may be because the level of personal care required when patients reach the nursing home staff increases exponentially, while the cost escalates disproportionally to the level of care being received.
Without family intervention, patients sit for hours in soiled diapers and clothing. There is no plan or set routine for individual patient hygiene. Pushing the call button gets little or no response. Even when a family member is present and asks for patient care, the excuses for not changing diapers are "it's shift change;" "aides are on break;" "we don't have enough people;" "it's almost breakfast/lunch/dinner;" "we're short staffed today;" or just simply not being able to find anyone. My parent has fallen several times trying to get relief from soiled diapers. There appears to be only one aide who actually bathes patients, so patients are rarely bathed. Aids routinely clean soiled patient aggressively with cold wipes, ignoring the patients expressions of discomfort when cleaning sensitive areas.
Because they don't change the patients often enough, there was often feces in the clothing, causing them to "lose" the clothes. They "lost"/discolored so much of my parent's clothing that I opted to do the laundry myself. Now they put pants with feces in them in the laundry basket, so I've learned to check all clothing for poop and rinse it out before putting clothing in the laundry.
Bringing issues to the attention of the management does not result in any change in aide behavior.
Because it is an old facility, the patient rooms and bathrooms are small. Bathrooms are too small to maneuver the wheelchairs in and are shared between two rooms, with four patients using the same restroom. Visitors are required to obtain a key from the front desk to use the one restroom available for visitors. It's a poor system and adds to the stress of visiting, probably designed to discourage visitors from staying too long.
Focus is not on the residents. There are few resident areas. If you do not visit, residents sit in the hallways most of the day, with little stimulus. Activities are scheduled at "shift change" for the convenience of the staff. Because space is limited, therapy occupies the solarium.The one resident area is where the "activities" are held. The lobby is dingy and dimly lit. The cafeteria is bright and often available between meals, but there is little privacy, with some residents playing country and rock music for extended periods of time. One courtyard is used for staff smoking and the other was only recently made available to patients. These areas and the porch are only accessible on warm sunny days.
Meals have no fresh vegetables or fruit with canned items prevailing. Meat and potatoes are the general fare and the menu has little variation. Many residents leave quite a bit of food uneaten every day.
This facility needs a strong injection of "Patient First" philosophy and really needs major renovation throughout the facility. They need to address the poor performance of the aids and either manage more effectively or staff more to accommodate the patients. Meanwhile, if you place someone here, be prepared to visit daily, bring fresh fruit and healthy snacks, do the laundry yourself and advocate strongly for your loved one's care.