There needs to be a ZERO starts option!
My 43 yr old husband was admitted to Bethel for the purpose of sub-acute rehab to help him recover from long term illness and regain strength so he could undergo a kidney transplant. He is a type 1 diabete & suffers froma seizure disorder. Combined, these issues have had him in & out of the hospital in serious states for the last 14 months.
I toured Bethel, and was impressed...it was clean, staff was friendly, residents appeared happy. I was assured people his age would be grouped together, so as not to feel out of place among a traditional "nursing home" population.
WELL....He arrived late on a Saturday. Staff acted as though they had no knowledge he was coming, the admitting nurse spoke rapidly with little clear English. They had not prepared for my husband's severly restricted diet, and immediately tried to give him a dinner that violated it six ways to Sunday! At first I thought, "Ok...breathe...it's late on a Saturday, things will surely get better by tomorrow or Monday!" They spoke to ME...not him. And when they did speak to him, they shouted, as though he were deaf, and treated him as though he were incompetent, incontinent, and senile. HE IS 43!!!! He was placed in a wing where he is easily 40 years younger than any other resident, and in order to get to his room, I have to navigate past various satges of sad looking, wheelchair bound elderly who are parked in the common areas & hall like it's a valet garage.
On Sunday, I arrived to visit my husband at 3:40pm. He informed me that he had not have ANY medications yet that day...including his seizure medication! Thankfully, I always carry his meds in case of emergencies, and I administered the drugs he was in need of at that time. I spoke to the nursing staff and was told, "Oh, the Pharmacy said his meds will be here by 6pm." Seriously? Additionally, at the time of my tour, I was told they conducted 7 day a week Physical therapy. It's why I elected this facility. My husband had NO therapy at all on Sunday, but they sent a shrink in to ask what limitations he has at home & is he depressed.
Monday was no better. I arrived at 2:30pm and my husband immediately informed me that his Blood Glucose level was over 500! I asked why, and he explained that he had been denied his insulin until well after lunch time...so he had breakfast & lunch without any coverage for his baseline Blood sugar level, or to cover the meals he was expected to eat. When I asked the nurse what had happened with his insulin, she began wagging her hand in my face, yelling at me not to argue with her, and looming over me (I was seated, she was standing). I immediately demanded a supervisor, as I felt she was going to try to physically engage me or bully me into verbal submission.
The supervisor was no better...a condescending little man who spoke in circles and gave no real answers. He refused to even understand my concern that not once, but twice in only 24 HOURS, MY HUSBAND WAS DENIED HIS LIFE SUSTAINING MEDICATIONS!! I FEARED FOR HIS SAFETY...AND VERY WELL, HIS LIFE!! I immediately packed his backs and took him home. I have been blessed to have a gracious enough employer who has allowed me to completely change my work schedule so that I can care for my husband now without assistance, and still be able to work and take care of myself.
I have never put a member of my family "in a home" before this for any reason. I cared for both my parents and my grandmother until their passings. I relinquished control of my husband's care, thinking it was what was best for him, and would give me, an exhausted care giver, a short break while he got better. When I saw the quality of care he was receiving, I burst into tears...and apologized to my husband for doing that to him for even 2 days.
Not only was I terrified that my husband was going to be mistreated and neglected in this facility...but I was overcome with the guilt of having listened to the doctors who recommended placing him in sub-acute care, and being the one who was sold the bill of good during my tour, that this was going to be far from the sterotypical "nursing home/rehab facility" we hear about on teh nightly news. What a horror story.