Life or the Nursing Home

by Anonymous

Instructor’s note: This student wants to share an urgent warning but has chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect her family’s privacy. Brace yourself for a heart-breaking story.

My father would have lived a lot longer had he not stayed in a nursing home. My father could walk, talk, feed himself, and put on his own clothes before he was admitted to the nursing home. Dilatin was the only medication that he was taking. Dilatin is a medicine for seizures. We took my father to the hospital because he kept falling. He was only falling because his medicine level was too high. The doctor from the hospital said that he could not stay home by himself and admitted him to the nursing home for therapy. Hoping that he would get therapy, I chose to keep my father in the nursing home for one hundred days. This would also put him at the top of the list for home health care.

My father did not want to stay in a nursing home. He was placed on Zipracta, Adavant, and a new seizure medicine. All of his medicine included ingredients to suppress anxiety and mood swings. When I visited my father the second week, he was in a wheel chair and sleeping. He was so drugged up that he could not even go through therapy. The therapist wanted to know what had happen. She stated that he was a jolly man and was doing well last week with his therapy but that that she could not do anything with him in his current condition.

When he was awake, my father reacted to me as if he had been beaten. When I reached to give him a hug, he would put his arms up as if I was going to hit him. He was wearing the nursing home night gown and his clothes and brand new shoes had been stolen. He had purple bruises on his arms and back. His regular doctor said that they were rashes. My father had an infected knot on his wrist. Ninety days later, he was admitted to the hospital where he died.

The nursing home could have been a better place had they had cameras, and better staff. My father had no problem with the original medications. Something else should have been done besides placing him on the harsh medicines. They could have taken them on rides to Ocean City or played music and made it a better home environment instead of an institution.

There is a rule that he could not come home with me until he had been in there a certain amount of time. Someone should look at this policy because I think that my father would have adjusted a lot better had I been able to pick him up daily from the start. We carried him a TV and radio and visited him daily. The staff had a certain time for the patients to eat. Most adults do not eat that rapidly. When I was able to bring my father home with me, he ate as if he was starving.

My family and I would visit my farther daily before he went into the nursing home. I gave him his medicine, and we would cook his breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. We took him to church, the doctor, and family events. I think my father would have been better off at home fallen. Instead, he was placed in a nursing home that called me almost everyday to tell me that he had fallen. He was happy but in ninety days he was gone.

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