THIS INFORMATION IS NOT “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” BECAUSE EVERY ONE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. THEY ARE YOUR PARENTS AND LOVED ONES.
Brownsburg Meadows is one of several “not-for-profit” nursing homes owned by American Senior Communities scattered throughout Indiana. How it can be not-for-profit is beyond me.
September 6, 2013 I was released from BROWNSBURG MEADOWS nursing home and rehab center after spending approximately three weeks in I.U. WEST HOSPITAL and nine weeks in rehab. An experience topped only by the 18 days I spent in a Florida rehab facility in August of 2012. (See my blog: “Once Upon A Time In Florida”). I was at the Meadows receiving rehab on my legs, arms and shoulders hoping to develop strength enough to at least be able to walk with a walker again. Strength I had lost while bed-ridden in the hospital. I did gain strength enough to walk with my walker, but I am still unsteady on my feet. I hope to rectify that with home nursing and rehab. I also suffer from swollen legs caused from fluid retention and we, the doctors and I, cannot seem to get rid of it. I am taking 120 mg of Lasix per day and, well let’s just say the stream is flowing
continuously………UPDATE 9/26/13: The Dr. stopped all of my emlodipine(sp) and changed Lasix to Torsemide(sp). My legs and feet are almost back to normal now.
GETTING IN AND GETTING OUT: Getting IN to one of these “HOMES” is relatively easy. If you have been in the hospital, the Social Worker will arrange everything for you. If one is to be admitted by relatives, this too is relatively easy. In both cases, all it takes is the “almighty dollar” rather it is Medicare, or private funds. Getting OUT is another story. It almost takes an act of congress. Actually only the in-house doctor who is treating the patient can release that patient. My own opinion is that a rehab patient should be able to go home at his/her own discretion and it violates a patient’s civil rights to keep him/her if the patient wants to leave or be released by relatives.
THE STAFF: The administration staff were all very cordial and aimed to please. But of course, “THE HOME” owners wanted our and medicare’s money. My opinion is, from observation, that the owners wanted the patients kept as close to the maximum time to get Medicare’s maximum amount of money. Anything to defraud Medicare……….When entering the facility, both patient and a relative are supposed to have meetings with the staff about goals and other specific subjects. I did not get any of these meetings until more than half way through my stay and my daughter and I had to complain several times before we finally received them.
THE IN-HOUSE DOCTORS: Each doctor had various patients assigned to them. The number of doctors and the number of patients assigned to them and how often they visited “The Home” is unknown to me. I saw my doctor on the day I was admitted and twice more during my entire stay at “The Home”, but I bet he charged me for every contact he made about me with the nursing staff. This is an obsurde and ridiculous situation. Admittedly, the nurses did inform the doctor and my cardiologist when some-thing went awry.
REHAB PERSONAL: All of the rehab personal were wonderful. They seemed to be well trained and they treated everyone with respect and tried to put them at ease while at the same time being strict in seeing that everyone did their exercises properly. Each rehab person was given from one to two hours of rehab five days a week (none on weekends usually) depending on age and/or condition. Three of the women there were 100 yrs. old or more. Sad to say, but all three were in better shape than I.
CLEANLINESS AND FOOD: Bathrooms are cleaned daily, but sink and toilet are not cleaned by aides after each use by a patient…Many times the toilet seat has excrement on it and the floor is sticky with dried urine or wet with fresh urine. The sink is used to put dirty wash clothes, etc. in after a patient has to be wiped clean after each bowel movement. THIS IS UNHEALTHY AND UNACCEPTABLE. Dirty towels, clothes and bedding are left on the room floor or bathroom floor until some one’s spirit moves and they are good and ready to put them in the dirty clothes bags and hampers. Beds are sloppily made and sometimes go longer than a week before clean bedding is used. A good thing about clothes is that they are washed daily and brought back to each patient’s room daily or if desired, a relative can take dirty clothes home and wash and dry them for a patient.
The facility definitely did not have enough nurses aids to care for the number of patients. As a result, some patients were late to the dining room and had to eat a cold breakfast. Some patients went without being cleaned up, dressed, beds made and missed getting their medications on time. The above conditions are NOT ACCEPTABLE IN ANY HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME OR OTHER HEALTH CARE FACILITY. The legislature, the governor and the State Dept. of Health need to get on the ball and correct the above problems…….PRONTO!!!!!
The food was furnished by GFS foods, but prepared by the facility cooks. It was edible, but that’s about all I can say good about it. Portions were way too small, but even then many patients left a considerable amount of food on their plates when thru eating because they did not like it. How is a patient supposed to get their proper nourishment when food, and money, is wasted in this way??? The food was almost always served luke warm to cold. Why it had to be this way was mostly because the cook serving was slow and the and the table servers were slower. Sometimes we had to wait at least half an hour before our food was set on the table in front of us. I think someone could figure out a better way. Also, the menu was too repetitious. It had the same choices over and over and over. Breakfast always had the same choices every day with the exception of adding one slice of french toast occasionally. Of course the food had to be monitored in some way because of the various diets of the patients.
PATIENTS AND ACCOMMODATIONS: The “Home” had three sections for patients. Sec. 200 was for rehab people only. Sec. 300 was for assisted living people. Sec. 400 was for long-term care people…..Alzheimer’s, dementia, the “crazy ones”, etc. Each section’s patients is supposed to be separate from the others and this is stated in their brochure. I do not know if this is a state law or not, but it should be. This was not so. Patients were all mixed in together. I was put in Sec. 300 with a man who slept continually except when he had visitors. He snored continuously and often yelled out in his sleep so loud that one could hear him at the nurses station down the hall. He finally moved out to an assisted living apt. at another facility. New patients were put where ever there was an empty bed no matter who their roommate was. Each room had two beds unless a patient was in the assisted living group. They could request a room by themselves and thus have some privacy, but they were scattered throughout Sec. 300 and 400. This combined rehab, assisted living long-term care facility should not be allowed to exist in its present form. People of sound minds who just need therapy for hip replacement, knee replacement, and other arm, leg, neck, back problems, etc. are sharing rooms with Alzheimer’s/dementia patients, mentally disturbed patients, etc. Has anyone stopped to think what this mixing could do to another person’s mental condition? It could cause mild to deep depression and suicide attempts. It could cause a fear of living to an older age. It could cause frustration and/or violence toward a room-mate. Each of the three above mentioned categories should live in separate housing or on separate floors if the building is more than one story. At some facilities, assisted living people have their own apartments.
Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients, the mentally ill and those patients who were “unruly” and made trouble for everyone who tried to help them, were set in their wheelchairs and made to sit in the area of the nursing station all day so the nurses and aides could keep an eye on them. Some of the worst patients were also made to spend the night at the nursing station because they would get out of bed and wander the halls or pester their room mates. Why they could not be strapped to their beds or wheelchairs I don’t know. Could be a state law against such restrictions. The shortage of help also must have played a role in these actions.
THE STATE OF INDIANA: It is obvious that the Health Care Quality and Regulatory Commission of the Indiana State Dept. of Health is neither inspecting nor monitoring nursing homes near often enough. It’s was obvious to me that the “Home” was not living up to the assumed state laws that govern nursing homes. Some of which might be violations that could cause the facility to be closed or fined heavily.
MY COMMENTS: “Aug. 19 and 20………Ending my seventh week here in the “Home” and feeling very depressed. I’ve got to go home soon before I become one of the “crazies”. I can’t take much more of this environment. Nothing to do on weekends. No internet to use my computer and the house computer is like a turtle. Only works half the time. Nothing on TV to watch worth seeing. Thank whoever for football starting up again on Sundays.”
Cleaning, sanitary conditions and food quality and quantity definitely need improvement. Indiana state inspections and monitoring need to be performed much more often. Money being wasted on “gay rights”, abortion, etc. issues should be spent on these problems which are much more worth while and pressing. Separation and cleanliness of patients with various types of sickness mentioned above should be the number one priority of the state nursing home Regulatory Commission.
One last comment……While I was in the “Home” I met some very nice people of all ages. It appeared to me that some of them needed a lot more love from family members than they needed treatment. Some of them had very few visitors so I assume their families just dumped them off at the “Home” and forgot they existed. Fortunately I am not one of those people. Thank you family; I love you all…….