Bob Haase's Another Can Of Worms
Nursing Home Care
You often hear people say that the last place they want to end up is in a nursing home or care facility. The reason they say this is that the care provided often leaves a lot to be desired. I have had both good and bad experiences with nursing home care and feel that the quality of care is directly related to the ownership and management of the care facility and the staff.
My wife's mother was in a care facility here in Fond du Lac and in Ripon and it was a positive experience. They were able to provide the 24 hour care and support that you would want and expect for someone you love. Even though it can never take the place of home, the facilities were clean and comfortable and the staff tried their best to provide the needed services and care. I think most nursing homes and care facilities operate short staffed and I feel that the staff are very under paid for the work they perform.
I have also helped take the residents of a nursing home in Markesan fishing and that home seemed to provide some excellent care. All the residents we took fishing talked about the great care that was provided for them.
My mother has been in a care facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and the care there was also great. The home is located close to where my sister lives so she can visit almost every day. The care was great until there was a change in ownerhip and staff.
The operation of a care facility is a business and like many other businesses the owners or managers of the business determine the quality of care and the quality of working conditions. If the owners and managers do not care about the residents health and safey, or the employees they hire, it shows up in the care provided.
The quality of care has deteriorated so bad since new ownership has taken over where my mother is that we need to consider moving her. There has been days where they have forgotten to feed her breakfast and dinner. They no longer have a cook and the care staff buys hot dogs or frozen pizza's for the residents due to budget cuts. They keep putting the call button on a table where my mother cannot reach it and she has no way of getting help if needed. My mother is blind and bed ridden and cannot get help on her own. If it were not for my sister being there every day we might not even be aware of the situation. This has affected all the residents, not just my mother.
The reason I am writing and telling you about this is that this is not an isolated situation. The care facilities your loved one's are in or may be placed in are not being properly inspected by the state. Every care facility in Wisconin has to pay a monthly bed tax of $170 per month for each room whether it is occupied or not. Most of this money is not used to cover the cost of inspecting nursing home care, but rather used to help balance the state budget. The residents ultimately end up paying this because the homes just add this to the room rate.
We are fortunate in that my sister only lives a couple miles away and is there every day to visit our mother. I also try to visit as often as possible and because of this we can see the problems since the change in ownership. Because of the proximity of the care facilities many people are not able to be there very often and cannot see the changes and quality of the care provided. They depend on the state of Wisconsin to monitor and inspect the care facilities and help assure that proper care is being provided. That is what we pay for and expect. That should be one of the main things the $170 per month bed tax should be used for. If this does not affect you now, it may in the future when you or a loved one needs the services of a care facility.
Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.
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