While the rooms and overall environment seem nice, the level of care and compassion by the staff is just poor for this type of facility. The only time they seemed to become interested in a resident was when a family member brought something to their attention or complained. My 82 year old step-father was recently placed there for rehabilitation after a fall which left him immobile. The following is a quick summary of events (he was only there for about 2.5 weeks) that will show the lack of compassion this organization has for its residents.
My concern about care immediately arose on my first visit. He was complaining that he could not urinate. We (my sister and I) did question the validity of this as his mental state was also starting to concern us, so we asked his aide (Flower) if they did monitor his bathroom trips since he needed assistance and if she knew if he was not able to go. She right away was defensive and told us he did have output. She even said she would take him at that time and upon finishing said his output was fine, asking if we wanted to look at it. Trust me when I say we really did not make a big deal out of this that warranted the attitude we were given. We were just concerned there was another issue we were not aware of.
Next time I visited when he was in the dining area (lunch time), I witnessed the aides (including Flower) had no regard for the fact that he was not eating his fruit cup which I believe was a first course. I ended up feeding him myself while the aides watched but never spoke to me. Then I left the dining hall and stopped back 3 times in the next hour waiting for the main course to be served to make sure he was eating. While all others were served he was still sitting there with his trash in front of him. As I decided to take him out of the dining area, I finally mentioned to the nurse exiting that he never received his main meal and commented on how he seemed to be regressing since he was brought there instead of progressing. This seemed to finally spark some interest from them as Flower and a Nurse followed up with me back in his room. They then informed me that his meal was still coming and he had not waited long enough so I said OK and brought him back but mentioned he was not able to feed himself. They finally offered to feed him. Why should I have had to tell them this? Wouldn't you think they could observe it themselves and isn't that why he was there so he could be monitored? Also I was growing more concerned about what was happening when I was not there.
After another week and a few more visits where we did not see progress in his rehab, we finally consulted his social worker, Nicole. She made it sound like they were progressing in therapy and would meet with us in the next week or so to discuss it more. In the meantime, as a quick aside, my sister mentioned our concern that certain staff may not be the right fit for him and asked how they normally handled this concern. Nicole said she would look into it.
Finally the other day while my sister was visiting, she was suddenly informed that he had made a comment earlier that day which concerned them. Apparently, when asked what could they do for him he said "take me out back and shoot me". Of course they interpreted this as him being a risk to himself and now were talking about having him transported for a psych eval. And, who was the aide reporting this comment, Flower, who simply left a note on the desk of the head nurse. Coincidence? This concern was also raised to Nicole who simply dismissed it.
I have to wonder when common sense comes into play for this type of situation. I mean really, we are talking about an 82 year old man that is barely moving. How much of a risk to himself can he really be? This one stupid general comment (I thought back to how many times I myself say "Shoot me now" and know I do not mean it) now generated a commotion and a trip to Albany Medical Center Emergency Department in the late afternoon. Anyway, I understand protocol, but again the lack of compassion in carrying this out was crazy. First Nicole told us he was going to Samaritan. Then the head nurse said no, Albany Med. My sister tells me the head nurse who signed the order for this had the nerve to tell her to explain the situation to the paramedics when they arrived. I was so happy to hear that she simply replied "no, this move was your call, you do it."
He arrived at the hospital emergency dept at about 5:30pm on a very busy night where he now laid on his gurney in the overflow area (aka hallway) until 3:30am and did not get into an actual room until about 2 the next day. Wouldn't you think there was a better more controlled way to do this?
After discussing the chain of events, Albany Med agreed (this was yesterday) that in addition to checking his frame of mind they would run a battery of tests like CT, Blood-work, UTI, etc. This may be the only bright spot in the matter. Especially because, low and behold, the first thing they found was that he had a UTI. I am no doctor, but maybe this has something to do with his original complaint about not being able to go to the bathroom?
The final straw that provoked this rant is while we are still waiting for the rest of the tests, I just got the news from my sister that she had a message from the Daughters of Sarah social worker, Nicole on her voicemail asking that we go collect his belongings at the front desk ASAP. Apparently, once he was admitted yesterday, they no longer keep his room. Keep in mind this whole incident just happened 2 days ago and all they are worried about is cleaning up while we are still concerned about his welfare!