But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears, Take the rag away from your face. Now ain't the time for your tears.
Bob Dylan-The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Local Watchdog Group Accomplishes Nothing
After many years of trying to tame that beast, that is the New York State Department of Health, The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) came up with absolutely nothing.
No new laws that protect Nursing Home Residents
No significant fines against nursing homes that kill their residents, (The DOH is still limited to fining no more than $2,000.00 per violation).
An archaic survey system that allows a bunch of morons at the DOH to decide what constitutes harm to a resident, based on outdated criteria. The DOH still does not speak to residents during surveys.
Check out the article below. Before you do, get yourself a tall scotch. I am livid and mad as hell!
LTCCC Directors Speak at NYS Surveyor Training (Read Full Article Below)
“Over 110 inspectors were present in each of two sessions. The presentation: Residents have the answers: How listening to residents is key to a successful survey outcome.”
Gag me with a friggin spoon. Is that the best they can come up with? Is it a wonder that nursing home care is so horrible?
Now I remember a time when LTCCC had a brass pair of balls. Cynthia Rudder fought like a lion to protect nursing home residents and DOH listened carefully when she complained about the care. Unfortunately, at that time DOH surveyors were on the side of NH residents. You had tough surveyors who fought for residents. Surveys were tough, and homes that did not comply with the law would find themselves in hot water. Nursing home administrators would loose their jobs if a surveyor was not happy with the care.
That is not the way it is anymore, and Cynthia knows it. Today’s DOH could not find a violation in a nursing home, if it bit them in the ass. They are lazy, uncaring, stupid and grossly under- trained. I would say underpaid, but for what they do, they are overpaid. If a surveyor shows initiative at DOH they go the way of the trash. Why would a Nurse even want to work for DOH. Oh, I forgot. The hours are great! There is very little work to do! Your meals are free! Call DOH at 4:30 PM and you can’t find a soul in the office. A perfect gig for a loser nurse who should never have been a nurse in the first place.
About two years ago, I attempted to solicit Ms. Rudder’s help with Split Rock Nursing Home. Split Rock NH is a concentration camp in the Bronx. Residents die there about as regularly as Mao used to trim the population in China.
Fortunately for Split Rock, the owners are very politically connected (Chuck Schumer, Andrew Coumo). Chuck Schumer used to be a good guy, now he will take money from the Mafia, if he could get away with it.
I filed about a dozen complaints against Split Rock, with DOH. These complaints were based on my personal experiences, at various hours at Split Rock. Cynthia Rudder spoke to some creep at DOH. She told me to be patient until they “do their investigation”. I told her to “bite me.”
They did their investigation and found “no credible evidence” in support of my serious complaints. I’m not just a family member complaining about the bad food. I’m a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, with thirty five years of experience working in the trenches. I could tell you whether a nursing home is good or bad within thirty seconds of entering the facility. My complaints are very detailed, very specific in both time and place. I don’t file frivolous complaints.
In the time that DOH took to do their investigation, three residents at Split Rock were murdered (that I know about). One of these victims, was a fifty five year old mother of five named Maria. Maria was shot by her boyfriend five times, and set on fire. She survived and spent six months at Jacobi Hospital, in their burn unit. Then suddenly her savior angel quit on her. She was transferred to Split Rock NH.
Although Split Rock had no proper policies and procedures to handle burn victims, they admitted Maria. As anyone knows, the worst thing for a burn victim is infection. Split Rock is famous for poor infection control. A Petri Dish is cleaner. Maria was sent back to Jacobi Hospital five times with infections. And five times she was returned to Split Rock. One hot summer day I visited Maria. She had at least a hundred flies buzzing around her, like a carcass in the desert. The odor coming from her bandages could knock over an elephant. Not a nurse in sight, it was lunchtime. When I complained to the administrator, he had me removed from the facility by security. I kept DOH informed about this situation on a regular basis, to no avail.
Five bullets could not kill Maria. Setting her on fire could not kill her. Split Rock Concentration Camp was up to the task. One day the nurse on her unit refused to give Maria her pain medication, to punish her for something. Maria threw herself out of bed so violently, that when she hit her head on the ground, the thud could be heard on the floor below. Maria died a month later at Jacobi Hospital. Her five children take very little comfort that DOH found “no credible evidence”, to support my complaints against this house of horrors.
The last paragraph of the article below really set me off. “Both Richard and Cynthia enjoyed working with the surveyors and the surveyors indicated that they appreciated the presentations and felt that they had learned a lot.” How warm and fuzzy.
Cynthia and Richard listen up. I’m sure that all my readers who beat themselves up because they abandoned their parents, in their direst moments of need, and placed their parents in a nursing home (most involuntarily) are going to feel warm all over. They will be thrilled that 110 DOH morons who were supposed to take care of their murdered parents, finally learned that it is harmful to a resident, not to have their hearing aide for ten months. What a huge breakthrough! I have a flash for you. When a resident loses their hearing aide (usually because the aide throws them into the laundry) most nursing homes will not replace them ever, because the facility has to pay for them.
I would suggest that LTCCC follow up in the next twenty years, with training entitled:
1. Is it harmful to a NH resident to have a Decubitus Ulcer (bedsore), the size of a grapefruit in their asses (rectal area, let’s not be gross).
2. Is it harmful for residents to call the NH Complaint Hotline after being told by their aide, that they will be beat up.
3. Is it harmful to be hepped up on dangerous drugs, so that a resident can be chemically restrained (especially during surveys).
4. You get the point.
If any of my reader’s feel that I sound particularly facetious, mad, and acerbic they are correct. I am so mad.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears, Take the rag away from your face.Now ain't the time for your tears.
Richard Mollot, Executive Director and Cynthia Rudder, Director of Special Projects, participated at March trainings for New York State nursing home surveyors.
Over 110 inspectors were present in each of two sessions. The presentation: “Residents Have the Answers: How Listening to Residents is Key to a Successful Survey Outcome,” began by raising awareness of the losses faced by residents who enter a nursing home and how life in a nursing home can compound these losses. Urging the surveyors to focus on the spirit of the regulations, the directors let the inspectors know how important they are to the residents because they have the power to make things better. Surveyors were asked to think about a number of different scenarios and discuss what kinds of information they needed in order to decide if a deficiency should be written and at what level of seriousness the deficiency would be rated at.
A facility was cited when a resident was found to be hard of hearing and even though a hearing aid was ordered, the resident had not received her hearing aid when the survey was conducted (10 months later).
Surveyors were asked to rate this deficiency in terms of its severity. Was it a potential for harm or was it harm? (Note: this deficiency was rated originally as only having a potential to harm the resident).
Surveyors made a number of recommendations for getting the information they needed: speak to the resident and family; look into the resident’s level of activities before and after the assessment; look into staff training; look into why the hearing aid was not in place and if the facility tried any other ways of making sure the resident was not isolated. Most of the surveyors believed that this situation should be rated as harm.
Both Richard and Cynthia enjoyed working with the surveyors and the surveyors indicated that they appreciated the presentations and felt that they had learned a lot.