I want to share my experience at Lake Parker. Its going to be a long one, but I hope those researching rehab/care facilities will take the time to read. Because I was in your shoes. I understand how much these reviews can affect your decision to send a loved one here. I did not HAVE a choice.
After a long hospital stay, my father was transferred to an "acute" care facility for further treatment and rehab. After a few weeks there, his insurance (Florida Blue) felt he no longer required that level of acute care and demanded that he be transferred to a facility that offered a lower level of care. As most of these type of facilities don't take Florida Blue, we were only left with Lake Parker as an option. I did my homework; I read all the reviews - and I was terrified! I didn't want to send my father there...but I had no choice.
Are the rooms a little bit run down? Yep. Would they benefit from remodeling? Yep. Were they short-staffed? Yep. But let me just say, NONE of that affected my father's care. The first few nights he was there, I didn't rest easily - mostly due to all the negative reviews. But once I saw how wonderfully my dad was treated, I relaxed. There was never a time my father had to wait when pushing the call button. A CNA or aide would appear almost immediately and NEVER made him feel like a burden. Do the nurses shuffle the more mundane tasks to the CNAs and aides - yes. But I can understand why. And let me say - despite being insanely busy, I watched as my father's nurse took time to "dance" with a mentally impaired resident who just wanted some company.
The rehab crew was amazing. They were optimistic and involved and made my father feel optimistic about his abilities. They got him walking, exercised his weak legs, and guided him through things like cleaning himself up and getting dressed - all struggles for my father with end stage COPD. They were wonderful with him. And my father thrived.
Just as he was making some great improvements, his health tanked. His lungs just couldn't handle it anymore. When they saw his oxygen levels dropping, they called us immediately. He refused to be sent to the hospital. He was tired and just wanted 'nature' to take its course. The doctors and nurses did everything they could to give him a fighting chance. But they were honest with us - without hospitalization, he most likely would not survive. Once it was clear that was the path he was on, they did everything they could to make him (and us) as comfortable as possible. My mother and I were there when he took his last breath yesterday afternoon. His death was not the fault of anyone at this facility, nor was it the lack of care. It was just his time.
After his passing, the staff jumped into immediate action. I cannot express how much their sweetness and care and so, so, so many hugs helped my mother and I through this. Even those who didn't directly treat my father were there for us. As we were waiting for the funeral home to collect my father, one of the aides brought over a cart with fresh fruit and snacks, cold water and juice and coffee. Just in case we needed anything or if anyone else stopped by to pay last respects. It was touching.
When the funeral home arrived to take my father, they closed all the doors to the rooms in his hall, as well as the door to the main entrance to the hall - as a final show of respect for my father. Not only that, but it was for the comfort of the other residents as well. So I have a really hard time hearing that these people don't care about their patients...because I saw that they do.
I can't express how much the care and comfort provided to my family helped. I can't say enough good things about these people. So please, don't let these negative reviews scare you away. I might not have had a choice regarding where my father was sent, but I'm sort of glad I didn't. I'm happy his last days were surrounded by people who cared.