Kentucky Needs Nursing Home Reform

08/10/2009 | Nursing Home Neglect

As a personal injury lawyer that handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases, I support Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform.  As a supporter I receive their newsletter.  This month Bernie, the director, included the following letter he received from a nurse at a nursing home.

"From a nursing home employee....

I have been in health care for 26 years. I can remember when we had enough staff to care for our fellow Kentuckians, sometimes seeming as if we were family. Now it seems Boards and Administrators of care facilities keep just enough staff to run a "production plant" or "assembly line.”    We are so understaffed.

It's painful to know there is care you can't give because there is just not enough staff. Most of my day is spent giving just the minimal amount of care, enough to make sure my residents are comfortable, when they deserve so much more.

And, I am yet to see a state or ombudsman visit where the facility didn't know in advance. Oh, but it is on these days that we have proper staff, until the visit is over, then it is back to the same staffing shortage, and minimal care.

Our elderly Americans should be our most celebrated citizens. It is they who prayed for us, raised us, built our schools, roads, and fought in wars to protect our rights, and freedoms, in hopes that their later years would be comfortable and worry free. But the sadness is they lose everything they worked for all their life for payment for care they don't and can't receive.  

I enjoy my residents and the service I can give them, have grown quite fond of them, and in some instances, I am the only face they see.  I would regret losing that bond, which is where my dilemma lies. I don't want to lose my job. But I would dearly love to see the media get involved and bring this petition to the average Kentuckian, would even talk to the media myself, but I am not sure how to proceed. Any advice in how I could help would very much be appreciated."

We need your help now more than ever, contact Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform to find out how you can help.

Hans