For 2 weeks, I stayed in the "Rehabilitation Center at Lancashire" - their name for a wing of the building where they installed some grab bars in the bathroom (that do not meet ADA requirements) and called it by a fancy title. The rooms and bathrooms in their entirety fail to meet ADA compliance standards. The only good thing about this facility is the people - nearly all of them are friendly, competent, kind and caring. That includes employees in all areas, from social workers, aides, physical and occupational therapists, activities staff and food workers to the housekeepers and maintenance men.
That being said, everything else ranges from barely acceptable to completely terrible. The food varies wildly, from pretty good to barely edible. It is usually lukewarm and tasteless. The portions are too small, the menu selections don't provide enough variety, there aren't enough vegetables and I was not told until close to the end of my stay that there are additional items that I could select. One meal consisted of a little meat and peppers on a big bun and 4 oz. of milk. Nothing else! An aide was able to find me a small dish of coleslaw. Oddly enough, the coleslaw, which is served frequently, was very tasty. One very bad meal was pasta with tasteless fake Alfredo sauce and a broccoli/cauliflower blend so overcooked that the broccoli was almost white. Barely edible! And the "Holiday Meal", which family and friends could buy for $14.50, consisted of turkey or prime rib, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, one vegetable and a small dessert. My prime rib was overcooked, 1/8" thick and very small. The dessert was, as usual, fairly good. When I was done, I ate a bunch of pretzels and popcorn. I'm trying to maintain a certain weight and the meals were never big enough. In addition, I was never given Ensure or a comparable product. For my last few days I was given an additional item, usually mashed with gravy, probably so they didn't have to provide the Ensure - it's fairly expensive.
The staff is overworked because there are not enough of them, particularly the aides. Their experience and training varies wildly, ranging from uncertified to LPNs, some of whom are unfamiliar with medications and care requirements for post-surgical residents. In addition, due to the time waiting for my call bell to be answered and having to make multiple requests, I sometimes had to wait up to an hour and a half to be given my pain medication. There seemed to be confusion about medication procedures, too. One side told me that two certain meds had to be taken an hour apart, another gave them to me at the same time. Sometimes they missed one of my meds and I had to ask for it.
One time I couldn't get the footrests onto my wheelchair and pushed the button to call an aide. In a while, it was answered by a woman from housekeeping, who didn't know how to do it. But one of the plumbers working in the bathroom did know how and did it for me! I think that's indicative of the care provided at this nursing home - the staff does its best, but there aren't enough of them.
There are so many things I observed and experienced during my stay, most of them unacceptable, that I could write a book. Cleanliness of the room and bath was just terrible - floors not swept during not entire stay, feces on the toilet seat for days, no wiping of surfaces and so forth. Residents left all day in a bed or chair by the nurse's station. Residents not checked on for hours at a time. Residents wandering around at night - once a male resident went into the room next to ours, then was in the bath talking to one of the women in that room, then tried to come into our room. My roommate had to yell at him to make him leave! These are important issues and could be dealt with if only they had more employees.
I cannot say much about the other wings, which are for long stays, only for conditions in "rehab." But I'm guessing they're about the same. And I feel very sad for the people living there. And wondering why a comatose man is living in the "Rehabilitation Center" when all he requires is a bed and regular care. Wondering why my roommate, victim of a stroke that affected her movement and speech, never gets speech therapy or physical therapy. Wondering what the aides get paid for their hard work. Wondering why the nicest, cleanest area in the building is the part seen by visitors. And wondering about the profits Wilmac, the owner, makes.