TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › I suspect nursing home abuse
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I suspect nursing home abuse

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My mother-in-law just turned 99 years old. For several years now she has been in a nursing home and out of her head in dementia. The last couple of times I have gone to see her, she has been almost comatose. I have tried shaking her (no response) yelling in her ear(no response) and kissing her forehead hard she stayed completely comatose.

The other day I got a phone call about a medication change for her? They said she was alert during breakfast and became teary. They "figured" she was in pain and so they called the doctor. He has prescribed vicodin for her twice a day! When I asked them what kind of pain she was in, they "didn't know." When I told them that I had been a few times and she was close to comatose, they hemmed and hawed about "well it must have been one of her lethargic days!" Who do they think they are kidding? I am not buying that this woman is suddenly up and alert at the breakfast table when she was so close to being comatose when I went to see her.

I plan on doing something about this- because over-medicating a patient regardless of age is abuse and neglect
post #2 of 19
You are so right to look into this. There is far too much of this kind of thing happening in our world today. There have been some bad cases here in the Toronto area.

I'm hoping you can get to the bottom of this quickly. Poor old dear! I'm so glad you are there for her.
post #3 of 19
I am very glad you have taken notice of this MA. I hate to hear of cases like this because just like babies, many of the people in nursing homes are not in a position to speak up and protect themselves. Thank goodness she has you to look out for her best interest

It definately sounds like they have been keeping her drugged up. If they are dong it to her I am sure it's happening to others. It amazes me the things that people will do to help make their jobs a little easier
post #4 of 19
Call Adult Protective Services. They will be able to help you and investigate. I know most cities have a group that actually investigates nursing homes and makes sure they are up to code, but I can't remember what those groups are called.
post #5 of 19
When my Mom was discharged from the hospital to a hospice nursing home, she was oversedated on Depakote. Luckily, as a nurse I knew to question her dose. She was sleeping so much that I believe she would have starved to death. At my request, they changed her back to her previous dose of a different medication (I think it was Phenobarb), and she woke up and lived several more months.

If your mil was crying from pain, she needs to be medicated. But just being sad is no reason for vicodin. I would call the doctor first, and ask what is going on. Let him know that she has been completely unarousable when you are there. Then try to talk to a charge nurse who oversees her care. Let them know when you are available. If she becomes agitated or tearful, they could call you or another family member, who might be better at figuring out if she is in pain, or just upset about something else.

Also, if she needs something for pain, couldn't it be given as needed? So she could have it up to twice a day, if needed (prn). Then if she doesn't show signs of pain, she wouldn't get it. I don't know how that works in a nursing home-but in a hospital it would reduce the doses she is given!

Best of luck, I'm glad she has you to watch out for her. You can still call for an investigation, but that will take time. If you can talk to the staff, hopefully you can correct the problem quickly.
post #6 of 19
Good luck looking into this Mary Anne. I hope you find out what's going on.
post #7 of 19
for noticing and caring


I too recommend calling the local officials... I believe I lost my grandma to the over medicate
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl
Call Adult Protective Services. They will be able to help you and investigate. I know most cities have a group that actually investigates nursing homes and makes sure they are up to code, but I can't remember what those groups are called.
I was a nursing home Medicaid case worker for quite some time. My advice is the same...contact Social Services as soon as possible. That is what they are there for. And if they for some reason cannot help, they should be able to give you the name of the regulatory agency that oversees nursing homes in your area.
I will PM you with other info.
post #9 of 19
I think also just letting them know that you don't think something is quit right, it might put them on the ball to give better care if that's the issue is about, as long as they know you don't like the way some things have been handled.
post #10 of 19
MA, that does not sound good. As I don't know the regulatory systems in your area, I can't offer specific advice, but what has already been said makes sense. At any rate, it's good you are there to rock the boat. I hope you find some satisfactory answers quickly.

I'm glad your MIL has you being vigilant for her.
post #11 of 19
It sounds as if they're overmedicating her because they can't be bothered. Definitely report this to the relevant authorities. If they're doing it to her, they're probably doing it to others.
post #12 of 19
Thats terrible! In Asheville, a news reporter went undercover in a nursing home and got abuse on a video tape. They took her to court, trying to cover it up but she got lucky and was allowed to screen that abuse that went on in there. It was awful. I think it goes on more than we do realise and something needs to be done about it.
I am so sorry about your MIL, no one deserves to go through this! I hope that you do get to the bottom of this when you report it!
post #13 of 19
This is really horrible! Keeping her in a medicated state for their convenience is abuse. She is lucky to have some one who cares.
post #14 of 19
I agree that this abuse happens far too often, despite Adult Protective Services & other regulatory agencies. With America's population aging, I think that our government needs to address this problem. Consider these facts from various federal websites - it's a travesty how little concern is shown for our elderly & disabled, and those who care for them!!
The Texas statewide average hourly wage for the survey year 2003 for Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants was $8.24. This can be compared to the average wage rate for all occupations in Texas of $15.24 per hour, and nationally $17.10 per hour. Actual wages for any particular job within this occupation may vary depending on job responsibilities, degree of unionization, region of the state, and industry attachment.

Most full-time aides work about 40 hours a week, but because patients need care 24 hours a day, some aides work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Many work part time. Aides spend many hours standing and walking, and they often face heavy workloads. Because they may have to move patients in and out of bed or help them stand or walk, aides must guard against back injury. Aides also may face hazards from minor infections and major diseases, such as hepatitis, but can avoid infections by following proper procedures.

Aides often have unpleasant duties, such as emptying bedpans and changing soiled bed linens. The patients they care for may be disoriented, irritable, or uncooperative. Psychiatric aides must be prepared to care for patients whose illness may cause violent behavior. While their work can be emotionally demanding, many aides gain satisfaction from assisting those in need.
Eighty to 90 percent of direct care workers are women. About half of direct care workers are non-white, compared to one-quarter of all workers. The typical direct care worker is a single mother aged 25-54. Compared to the general workforce, direct care workers are more likely to be non-white, unmarried, and with children at home (GAO, 2001). Even with modest improvements in the working conditions for some groups of direct care workers over the last decade, these jobs continue to be characterized by low wages and limited benefits. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (2002), the median hourly wage for direct care workers ranged from $7.81 to $9.59 in 2002. This represents a median annual wage of $16,250 to $19,960, if the worker is employed full-time year-round. However, as noted earlier, many direct care workers work less than 40 hours per week or do not work the full year. Direct care workers work about 30 hours per week on average.
Konrad (2003) found that nursing aides who had left the health field were better off financially than those who remained in the field
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
having worked in the field many years ago, I understand the amount of grunt work required by nurse's aide. But the aides are not the ones who are medicating my mother in law, the nurses are, based on phantom visits by a near-invisible doctor-
post #16 of 19
The RNs don't fare much better
"The American Health Care Association (AHCA, 1999) reported that the average RN wages per hour were $16.88, LPN wages were $12.88, and the NA wages were $7.44 in 1997. Since RNs represent 20.6 percent, LPNs 19.5 percent, and NAs 59.9 percent of the total nursing staff, the average nursing home wage per hour for nurses was about $10.43 in 1998."
Of course, these are old statistics, but knowing several nurses who have trained locally, working their way up from the nursing home to RN, it only makes sense to get hired on by the hospitals. What's a shame is that these are wonderful, caring RNs who would be so good for the elderly! My own grandmother didn't get very good care in a home that was supposed to be an excellent facility, but in reality the nurses were unapproachable & curt, the doctors were very defensive & patronizing; the family had to farm out the daily visits, otherwise many of her ailments were ignored. My sister had to work full-time then drive 65 mi. (one way), to do her weekly visits; fortunately, we have a large extended family, and my aunts & uncles also visited throughout the day - what I find frightening is what must happen to those poor souls who have a limited family, or else their family lives across country.
Thank goodness your MIL has you to look out for her.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme
I agree that this abuse happens far too often, despite Adult Protective Services & other regulatory agencies. With America's population aging, I think that our government needs to address this problem. Consider these facts from various federal websites - it's a travesty how little concern is shown for our elderly & disabled, and those who care for them!!
The Texas statewide average hourly wage for the survey year 2003 for Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants was $8.24. This can be compared to the average wage rate for all occupations in Texas of $15.24 per hour, and nationally $17.10 per hour. Actual wages for any particular job within this occupation may vary depending on job responsibilities, degree of unionization, region of the state, and industry attachment.

Most full-time aides work about 40 hours a week, but because patients need care 24 hours a day, some aides work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Many work part time. Aides spend many hours standing and walking, and they often face heavy workloads. Because they may have to move patients in and out of bed or help them stand or walk, aides must guard against back injury. Aides also may face hazards from minor infections and major diseases, such as hepatitis, but can avoid infections by following proper procedures.

Aides often have unpleasant duties, such as emptying bedpans and changing soiled bed linens. The patients they care for may be disoriented, irritable, or uncooperative. Psychiatric aides must be prepared to care for patients whose illness may cause violent behavior. While their work can be emotionally demanding, many aides gain satisfaction from assisting those in need.
Eighty to 90 percent of direct care workers are women. About half of direct care workers are non-white, compared to one-quarter of all workers. The typical direct care worker is a single mother aged 25-54. Compared to the general workforce, direct care workers are more likely to be non-white, unmarried, and with children at home (GAO, 2001). Even with modest improvements in the working conditions for some groups of direct care workers over the last decade, these jobs continue to be characterized by low wages and limited benefits. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (2002), the median hourly wage for direct care workers ranged from $7.81 to $9.59 in 2002. This represents a median annual wage of $16,250 to $19,960, if the worker is employed full-time year-round. However, as noted earlier, many direct care workers work less than 40 hours per week or do not work the full year. Direct care workers work about 30 hours per week on average.
Konrad (2003) found that nursing aides who had left the health field were better off financially than those who remained in the field
I personally fail to see how the pay scale someone gets paid for the job they do has anything to do with abuse. I don't care if you dig ditches - doing the best job you can at whatever you do is in my mind more important than the type of job you do. And, as said above these aren't the people administering the medications.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I personally fail to see how the pay scale someone gets paid for the job they do has anything to do with abuse. I don't care if you dig ditches - doing the best job you can at whatever you do is in my mind more important than the type of job you do. And, as said above these aren't the people administering the medications.
you are right that there is no "excuse" for abuse, however, there are reasons. And certainly outside stress, such financial worries and lack of adequate healthcare for caregivers, will have a detrimental affect on the caregiver, including their patience and tolerance levels. Not to mention that they are probably feeling a bit discouraged, both from the nature of the work and the low esteem in which they are held, as is evidenced by their payscale & working conditions.
post #19 of 19
I worked in a nursing home for a year when I was in high school, and the amount of abuse I saw there was enough to say I will NEVER put my mom in a nursing home! You just never know. That home was run by NUNS...you'd think at least THERE, under God's people, they would for sure get good treatment...but it wasn't so. I hope you find the answers!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › I suspect nursing home abuse