The articles about a woman facing criminal charges for her criticism of a local nursing home official before the charges were thrown out (”Case over FB criticism of nursing home dismissed,” March 12), recalled the frustration my husband, my sister and I faced with elder-care facilities over the final years of our parents’ and aunt’s lives. It is easy to go from a caring child to an apparently unacceptable advocate, given the stone wall one encounters.
Ohio’s minimum standards for nursing homes, such as a loosely worded staff-to-resident ratio, result in less than acceptable care, and oversight is lacking. In my family’s case, numerous phone calls, emails, personal pleas, suggestions, appeals, and requested meetings with regional staff were all met with a concern level that “understands” but never delivers.
Competent administrators exist but are hampered by corporate models for end-of-life care that are broken. When the most personal and private interactions are handled by the lowest-paid people in a corporate hierarchy, there needs to be a change.
Over the five years we had relatives in facilities, there were three corporate ownership changes for one and frequent staff changes. Each new management structure promised a new approach, but none succeeded.
The state needs to ignore the nursing home lobby and undertake meaningful reforms.
Denise D. Ruthenberg,
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