More attention needed at nursing home

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To the editor,
I am writing this letter in an attempt to bring attention to how Ivey’s Terrace Nursing home is run and hope critical changes are made.

My father, Bob Windsor, was a resident at Ivey’s Terrace from September 2012 to December 2013.

He was there not even a year when he had three major falls. The second fall he ended up with a broke clavicle bone. He was still recovering from that and still had his arm in a sling when he fell the third time. A decision was made to remove his bed alarm when he was still recovering from the second fall. With a bed alarm in place he wouldn’t have fallen the third time. They tried to tell us this wouldn’t have made a difference, but I know different.

One evening I was going to visit Dad and they had just run into his room as he was attempting to get out of bed. This was after his third fall which left him with a broken bone in his kneecap. They said they heard his alarm and went running to his room. This is proof the bed alarms do work. The alarm should have been left after his second fall.

After his third fall the ambulance took him from the hospital back to the home. I went down to be with him. He had a leg brace on as they couldn’t operate. They said they didn’t have an alarm for his bed. I told them I was not leaving there until he had an alarm – which they had to borrow from another resident. That’s ridiculous. There are 36 beds – 36 alarms should be on site if needed.

Another problem is shortage of staff. We would go in some evenings and an hour or more would pass before we would even see any staff on Dad’s pod. It wasn’t the staff’s fault; they were busy on the other pods.

Another problem, we had meetings with them about Dad’s care. Dad was a tall man and his feet were always pressed up against the footboard. We were promised a bed extension to make it more comfortable for him. He was bed-ridden and had the leg brace he shouldn’t have had to put up with not having enough room in the bed. They did get him an air mattress, but never the bed extension. Also they were going to get him a donut cushion. They didn’t.

Dad did have Alzheimer’s and we knew it wasn’t going to get better, it gets worse. Unfortunately his last few months of life were of poor quality. He deserved a better quality of life those last few months.

On Friday, Dec. 20, Dad wasn’t doing well, his breathing was poor, he was failing. They didn’t even call us; instead they got someone to sit with him for three hours in the afternoon. There was no reason not to get in touch with us as we gave them home, work and cell numbers. Until Mom went down Friday night we didn’t even know he was that low. This is very disheartening as he should have had family with him at this time. The nurse on dayshift or someone with authority should have called Mom. Mom and I stayed with Dad overnight Friday. He passed away around 12:30 p.m. on the Saturday. Because of mistakes made and shortage of staff Dad is the one who suffered.

I didn’t write this letter to say this home is a terrible place, but to bring attention to things that need to be changed. More people should speak up. If everyone keeps ignoring the problems nothing will change. I feel sorry for older people who have no one to advocate for them.

I would like to thank the staff that were so good to Dad. I won’t name them as I might forget someone, but they know who they are. I really appreciate what they did for Dad.

Elaine Windsor

New Glasgow

Geographic location: New Glasgow

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Recent comments

  • Nurse
    January 25, 2014 - 19:17

    Elaine, You are so right! These kind of things happen at all homes. More people need to tell their stories and maybe the government will listen and put more money into the staff and bed alarms. We the nursing staff do the best with what we have and there is always a charge nurse that makes the decisions and at times we have to fight with the higher ups .... we have to follow the chain of command and that sucks (for a lack of a better term) I love being a nurse I just hate the politics that go with it !!!

  • kenda
    January 19, 2014 - 21:18

    i would like to say the people in this home are treated with respect from what i seen while i worked there. the staff does the best they can do to provide good care. They have great activity's. ps they also have family and resident council for people to go to if their is any complaints ...