Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Isolation is over but I find other problems at the nursing home

I finally got in a good visit with Mom.  I traveled 7 hours to her home town and got to see her daily for three days. On my first visit, after I hugged her like crazy, I took a good long look around.  I looked at the bedding, her clothes, her shoes, her drawers in the night stand - everything, anything...  What I found was disturbing and encouraging.  All of her clothes and shoes where there, her bedding was clean. ... however.... in the bottom drawer of her nightstand I found a bed pan.   This is the normal storage for bedpans in Mom's nursing home; they use them, rinse and wash them and store each in a thick plastic bag.  This one was not in a bag and was smeared with something brown.... it's a bed pan, that can only mean one thing.... EEEEEeeeUUUU uuuuu!!!!

So, I asked floor nurse - not the aid - to come to look at "something disturbing".
Me: pointing to the open drawer: "Is that a bed pan?"
Nurse: glancing down, hands on hips: "Yes, it is. We always keep them in the bottom drawer."
Me: pointing to the  bed pan and the smear, "What do you suppose that brown substance might be?"
Nurse: suddenly paying close attention,  "Oh! that's not acceptable!"
Me:  bending over and pointing, "And, those, are those the same bandages you use on Mom's stasis ulcers?"
Nurse: "I'll have someone clean it up right away."

...and she did.  The nurse threw the bedpan in the trash and soon housekeeping came to clean the drawer with a bleach solution.  I am left wondering how long a dirty bed pan had been in the drawer and if the nurse putting on Mom's bandages would have used them or thrown them away.  Someone put a dirty bed pan in the drawer- it could have been the night before or days before.  Someone might have been using a dirty bed pan for days. Someone changes mom's bandages daily and should have seen it and done something. It's always "someone else" whenever I find this type of stuff at the nursing home.  

Every visit I find something terribly disturbing.  It does not leave me confident that Mom's getting good care.  This nursing home is ranked fairly well compared to others across the state, I can only imagine how crappy - no pun intended - that must be.