Letter to the Editor

Reader 'shocked' by timing of announcement in paper

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To the Editor:

When I saw the heading "Nurturing nursing homes," on the front page of The Brazil Times (May 7, 2009), I was shocked at the timing of the article.

My mother was in a nursing home until two days before the article appeared.

We were asked by the administrative staff earlier in the year to find another "place for mom."

We were referred by the staff to facilities located in Matoon, Ill., Scottsburg, Ind., Washington, Ind., and Indianapolis.

At that time, we asked the staff if they had been to any of the facilities and they told us that they had not.

But they would not refer us to any place that would not be appropriate for our "loved one."

It is bad enough to have to put a "loved one" in a nursing home. But for the administrative staff of a nursing home in your hometown to tell you they "can't take care of your 89-year-old mom because of her behaviors," is devastating.

I was later told by one of the staff that we either find a place that would accept her or she would give me a "30-day notice of eviction" and that they had secured a bed for her at a facility on the east side of Indianapolis.

I had never heard of this happening before and thought the purpose of a nursing home was for when you could no longer care for your loved ones.

We went to the Indianapolis facility and took a tour.

We found that it wasn't a place that we wanted to take "our loved one."

We finally found a small non-profit facility in Terre Haute that has a "big heart" that agreed to take her.

Until the new facility could secure a room for "mom," we began going to the local facility and talking to her caregivers at various times.

When we asked them how she was behaving, they told us, "when she has a problem, we know how to redirect her."

After receiving this feedback, we requested a meeting in April with the administrator and asked (the facility) to reconsider the move to another facility. The administrative staff insisted that they were being "pro-active."

They said that they were afraid that she would hurt a resident or that her behaviors would cause another resident to hurt her.

In the six months that she was a resident, she nor anyone else was injured by the less than 5-foot, 120-pound, 89-year-old, in a wheelchair.

It is so sad that my mother was born in Cardonia, lived in Clay County all of her life and now she is no longer a resident.

On a positive note, she seems very content at the new "caring/nurturing" facility.

I had been afraid that she would become more confused with the move. But there have been problems. The staff at the new facility find it hard to believe that the staff at the facility in her hometown didn't want her.

"Nurturing nursing homes?" Bah humbug. Not likely at the local facility. Possibility the administrative staff and the CEO of the "larger for profit corporation" needs to go to the Terre Haute facility and learn about "nurturing."

Sharon L. Stamm,