My mother moved into Rittenhouse about two years ago. It has been a long two years. She is moving out in a few weeks. The place has changed management numerous times within these two years. The chaos that has ensued has been heartbreaking:
- My mother had an iPad stolen from her room, with very little support from the staff to help her find it.
- Her laundry has been mixed up with other residents - never to be found again.
- Although her doctor indicated that staff was to give her her medication, several months after moving in, a staff member handed her a bottle of her medicine telling her she should take it herself.
- For months, her bathroom was infested with ants.
- The residents are taken to the library to get books, but then not taken back to the library in time to return the books.
- Two times, my mother signed up for a YMCA membership because they were taking the residents there to swim. Both times, within months, they either simply stopped going or stopped going frequently enough to make the cost worth it. I paid for that membership. My mother has dementia and did not alert me to the fact that they had stopped going. There is NO communication between Rittenhouse staff and family. So I found out months later that they were not going to the YMCA anymore, as I continued to pay for a YMCA membership for her.
- Rittenhouse stopped supplying residents with paper towel and toilet paper. I was not notified. My mother ran out of toilet paper. When she asked for more, she was told that that's the family's responsibility. (Families cannot know what is their responsibility unless they are told.)
- Our bills change every month. When I ask why, I am given answers that don't make sense to me. When I've asked for more clarification, I've been met with hostility.
- Rittenhouse charges $400 for a private room for a Medicaid waiver resident. If you are looking for an assisted living facility for a loved one on a waiver, please know that this is the exception -- not the rule. There are other assisted living facilities in the Indianapolis area where a Medicaid waiver resident can get a room with no extra charge for a private room.
- One of the craziest things that happened had to do with a medication dosage increate. I learned that Rittenhouse had decreased my mother's anti-depressant. When I asked one of the nurses why, she told me that my mother's pharmacy had decreased the dosage. I finally got the true story some time later. But for about 48 hours it was just this one LPN I was in contact about it who insisted that a pharmacy could change my mother's dosage and had done so.
- It is far too difficult to get through to the director and the office manager at Rittenhouse. I've been told SO MANY TIMES that people would call me back -- never to hear from them. I've sent emails, never to hear back.
I do think that the newest manager of Rittenhouse is very kind and very determined to turn the place around. And perhaps she'll be able to. I hope so. I've gotten to know so many of the residents over the past two years. Some of them I've truly to come to love -- as has my mother. And there are some employees at Rittenhouse that I will miss so much. But my mother's deserves better than what Rittenhouse has been for the past two years, and what it currently is.