To the editor:

I hope you will consider publishing this, as I know I am not the only person having experiences such as I list here. Maybe it will cause some changes to be made; I certainly hope so.

A ton of frustration and even some portion of rage cause me to write this. I will be sharing this and other information with state health officials and government representatives as matters that need to be looked at for changes to laws regarding care of the elderly in so-called nursing facilities.

Elderly people in residence in nursing homes need as many people available to look after them as children in daycare have watching out for them. Some days, they are not spoken to other than when they receive their meds, and that is very brief. On the days when they actually are taken for a shower, they probably are spoken to somewhat. They need to be treated as people, not pieces of furniture that they have to bother moving around. One lady was always situated across from the desk area, turned away from the workers and toward a door.

A doctor should work in each facility, not just one doctor for all of the nursing facilities in town. Each person should actually be looked at somewhat in depth each day by someone with their express best health in mind.

My mother is a resident at one local facility, and has requested to be put on a list to see the doctor on his day at that facility, and it either was not written down, was ignored or she was asleep, and they did not wake her.

This happened numerous times.

Don’t lie to people to get them there. My mom was told she could take her car when she moved into the facility. As soon as she got there, they took her car keys and her driver’s license. She was never to be allowed to drive that car again, not exactly a lie, but certainly a violation of what was intended.

I went on a beautiful late summer/early fall day to visit my mother. I went around to the big glass door to a wide-open outdoors area, wearing a mask. My mother pleaded with the help to allow her to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and good weather. No matter how we promised to stay distanced, she was greatly disappointed, and her face, near tears, showed the sadness of being basically a prisoner. We had to speak to each other on phones, looking through the glass door.

COVID-19 did finally get around to every resident of the facility. I received a letter from, I assume, the ownership of this facility promising updates. I received one very general phone update, using numbers only, not even mentioning my mother at all. As calls get ignored a lot (possibly because of worker shortage), I sent a letter with questions.

I received absolutely no answer! That’s how much they care about keeping us informed.

From this experience I’ve had regarding my mother, I would rather die at home alone than trust the treatment available presently in so-called nursing facilities. The elderly are treated as people who have worn out their welcome on planet earth, and they certainly deserve better.

Linda Hodge