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									Visitors, a Very Necessary Luxury at Rehabilitation and Care Centers and
Nursing Homes
If you think that you can be in a nursing home for long -term care and be
as happy as you might be in your own home, you are slightly mistaken. The
long -term care units of some rehabilitation and care centers are the
most horrible places inside these buildings. Sure you might find one that
is good, but for the most part, from what I have observed, one long -term
care unit is worse than the next one.
If you are seeking long-term care, you might be better off checking out
each and every facility rather than just checking out one or two places.
And the most important information and inside scoop you can get is from
residents who have left there already. Have you seen any residents at all
who are actually happy with the care that they received in those places?
Do some unofficial surveys, some verbal surveys. Ask around; ask in the
hospitals, ask in your neighbhorhoods. Find out if there is any happiness
anywhere in long-term care facilities.
Usually your happiness goes out the window when you are transferred to
the long-term care unit when you should be in the short -term care unit.
That's where the happiness is. It is not in your spirit -because you
thought you were just "visiting" there and the facility and the red-tape
turned you into a long-time resident -against your will and against the
will of your family.
How do you gain your happiness back?
Here is how you can stop the facility from taking your happiness, from
taking advantage of you and your family ,and here's how you can stop the
facility from doing things to you and your family that they should not be
able to do.
Follow these steps -for an improved life - at physical rehabilitation
centers and nursing homes:
1. Know what you are there for! And make sure the staff knows what you
are there for. If you came into the nursing home /rehab for short term
care, make sure that they know that and are reminded of that. One
resident I know was accidentally transferred upstairs to the long-term
floor and that transfer set his therapy back for weeks or months. Never
allow a transfer to another floor until you agree to the transfer and
until you have made a thorough inspection of the new floor.
2. Make your family and friends visible at the facility. (Residents who
have visitors or family's seem to be treated better and have more
attention paid to them WHEN the family speaks up about what is
happening). Let staff know that you are not alone. In good nursing homes
you will be treated fairly , whether you have visitors or not, but in
those nursing homes that are horrible, you will be treated better when
they see that you have friends and family visiting. Have people visit
you. Call your local Priests or Rabbis and have them visit. Call your
Avon person and have them come visit while you look at their catalog and
choose your items.
3. Once you have discovered that you are in a bad nursing home (bad
meaning no care, lack of care or negligent care) when you have important
communications for the facility about important resident or life
decisions, put that in writing to the facility. This way they cannot deny
that you stated it clearly to them, when they fail to take proper
4. If you or your friend/family member develops new bedsores while at the
facility, clearly note this and make sure the staff acts on handling the
bedsores-making them heal rather than allowing them to grow into large
scabs and life-threatening medical problems. (Just recently there was a
news note where a man died of maggots in his eyes and bedsores -while his
facility didn't notice till he was dead).
5.Know that bedsores develop from spending too much time in bed or
wheelchairs, so be active and do your exercise and therapy when needed.
Check the resident or patient for bedsores before they are admitted to
the nursing home. Yes, you might even want to take pictures of the elbows
or knees and other body parts. This might sound odd, but knowing what the
resident was like before entering home will surely let yo u know what kind
of care the patient is receiving. (For example, when the patient enters
the nursing home with clean, uninjured elbows, and knees or other body
parts and they begin to develop sores all over their body, that might be
a sign that someone is not doing their job correctly and it might be a
sign of gross negligence.
6. Know that you need to bring these sores to the attention of the staff
right away and if the staff does nothing, put your complaint in writing
immediately. Have family members write for you if you have no access to
writing supplies.
7. ALWAYS be persistent. If staff member tells you something that you
know is wrong, never doubt yourself, keep on keeping on, and be
persistent in your complaints and follow-up. Remember that listening to
your own inner instinct is better than listening to staff that is telling
you something that is obviously incorrect. Sometimes the staff will stick
together and even back up a staff member who is doing wrong. (This does
not happen in all places but only happens in the places that have
something to hide from the public).
8. Try and use all the recreation props and items that are available at
the facility. If there is a recreation room or coffee room that has books
or videos or television, take advantage of this room and take advantage
of these things. For some of them will bring more joy and happiness into
your life. You can meet with other residents there also, so you can
become more social ,even while in the nursing home.
9. Always have hope. You know that you are going home; you know that you
came there for short-term therapy, so keep that attitude and keep up with
your daily therapy.
10. Never be isolated inside a nursing home or rehabilitation center:
always have a phone whether a regular phone or cellular phone so that you
can always communicate with your family and friends who are outside the
facility. If you have a family member inside of a nursing home and you
are unable or not allowed to visit, make it your business to telephone
the patient to have that patient connected with people outside of the
nursing home. When a nursing home isolates a patient it is usually for
something that the nursing home is hiding. Most reputable nursing homes
will want the family and friends to visit the patients an d residents. I
learned from one family member that they were stopped from visiting
solely because they reported that the patient has bedsores (that were
acquired inside of the nursing home). This is a rehab and care center in
Staten Island. Always question why a patient is stopped from having
visitors, especially if the patient or family reported bedsores before
the visits were stopped. That would seem the obvious reason.
11. Make changes in the place where you are. If you are in a facility and
you or your family members are lawyers or journalists or investigators,
seek their help in any area of trouble inside the of rehabilitation
center or nursing home. If you have a voice , a radio show, then do a
radio show right there, from your room in the facility an d speak out.
VOICE your opinions. Never sit quietly if things are happening that
shouldn't be happening.
12. Connections: Connections are one of the things most vital in your
quest for gaining your happiness back. Always connect with people, both
inside and outside the rehabilitation center and nursing homes.
13. From time to time during the month, have your priest, rabbi or pastor
visit you in the nursing home. Call your community centers and have any
of the spiritual people visit you. These visits would be just social
visits. Tell them that you lack enough visitors in the daytime and that
you would like someone from the church or synogogue to just come and
visit with you from time to time. This will let your hospital, medical
center or nursing home know that you are not alone and that there are
other people concerned about the treatment that you receive.
Remember, when you are in nursing homes and in bad rehabilitation and
care centers, one of the best safeguards for your health, sanity and
well-being is your ability to stay visible, stay heard and to have as
many visitors as you can have in any given day or week. Keep up the pace,
and try to always have visitors. Always stay visible. That means instead
of hiding in your room all day -- go out of your room and be with other
people during the day. Be with other residents and with other visitors
but just be out there. The more visible you are, the more witnesses you
have, the better off you are. Just stay visible and have your family,
relatives, friends and co-workers visit you as much as possible for your
own health and well-being.
Melinda Thomas is presently touring the United States of America in
search for information, true stories, inside data on what is happening
around the world inside of nursing homes and physical rehabilitation and
care centers. The material that she has come across, both through
personal inspection, investigation, research and organization, is
remarkable in length, content and tear-jerking memories. She hopes that
you share your ideas with her as soon as possible. While her subject
topics vary from radical consumerism, computers, teamwork and others, she
hunts for the truth and the truth is forthcoming.While her subject topics
vary from radical consumerism, computers, teamwork and ot hers, she hunts
for the truth and the truth is forthcoming. Meanwhile read all the
articles and connect with her through her agent at

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