Short-Term Nursing Home Admission Proves Too Much For Elder Advocate

Enough is enoughTwenty-four hours was enough for Deb Holtz at a Minnesota nursing home.  The 55-year-old cut short her admission to Langton Place after what she felt were repeated insults to her privacy by staff at the facility.  Like many nursing home patients, Holtz was intending on receiving short-term rehabilitation following a shoulder replacement.

What makes Holtz different than your average nursing home patient is that she runs Minnesota’s Ombudsman program for Long-Term Care.

What Holtz experienced during her recent nursing home stay was chronicled by the Star Tribune in a recent article, “Nursing home stay an eye-opened for advocate for elderly”, describing the series of personal offenses during her stay that made her feel particularly vulnerable and dehumanized.

It was a little scary because you are part of a larger system.  I didn’t feel like I had control of my environment or possibly my body.

While Ms. Holtz certainly had both the personal skills and the legal knowledge to advocate on her own behalf, the article quickly made me appreciative of how the rights of an elderly or disabled person could be trampled on by facilities soon after their admission.

If there is anything positive to gain from Ms. Holtz’s experience, hopefully her dissatisfaction with the patient experience will catch the attention of nursing home workers and administrators and cause them to reevaluate the way the treat patients.

Ironically, Minnesota’s Ombudsman program for Long-Term Care received 2,500 complaints last year, with nearly half of the complaints centered around alleged violations of patients’ rights at the facility.

Learn more about the laws applicable to Minnesota nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in Minneapolis , Rochester and St. Paul

Related Nursing Home Law Center LLC Blog Entries:

Nursing Home Ombudsmen Making A Difference In Patients’ Lives

More Improvements At Medicare’s ‘Nursing Home Compare’ Website

State Of Nursing Homes From A ‘Nursing Home Reform Activist’

Are nursing home patients protected under federal law?


One response to “Short-Term Nursing Home Admission Proves Too Much For Elder Advocate”

  1. Before my mother’s death, dementia stole her ability to walk, to talk, to take care of herself. During the final three years, 8 months of her life she lived in a well-reputed Minnesota nursing home (and paid over $6,000/month for her care.) Totally vulnerable and dependent on others to attend to her needs, Mom was the recipient of care that ranged from wonderfully compassionate to neglectful, depending on the circumstances of the day. Almost every afternoon I visited her, fed her lunch and advocated for the complete execution of her care plan. Every evening, I wrote about my mother’s nursing home experience of the day. My journal entries became the seeds for a memoir, Singing Solo: In Search of a Voice for Mom. Its message is clear: nursing home residents, especially those who have lost their voices to dementia, need people, in addition to nursing home employees, to advocate for their quality-of-life.

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