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Avamere skilled nursing
A caveat: I live in Canada where we like to think we do this so much better but, the truth is, we don't. A situation has come to light very recently of a registered nurse admitting to deliberately killing eight very senior patients in her care at a privately-owned nursing home over a period of several years. Numerous stories make their way into the media of families finding themselves in exactly your situation, DariaVader.

Health is now in the same mess as education with children (parents) not wanting to put their parents (children) at risk of reprisal by complaining too loudly when the child (parent) is not around to protect them.

Barbara Ehrenreich in her book "Nickel and Dimed' published in 2001, mentioned a report in 2000 by the US Dept of Health and Human Services that found most nursing homes dangerously understaffed, especially profit-making homes (why doesn't that surprise anyone!) If a family complains, the family member is likely to receive improved care and attention which means other patients will get less - a case of taking away from Peter to pay Paul which happens when there are insufficient resources to go around. If patients complain themselves they are in danger of being labelled "difficult" in which case the treatment is likely to get worse - even dangerously so.

The only sensible solutions of course are to either increase the number of government inspectors of privately-owned as well as publicly-funded care homes or make all care for disabled, elderly or otherwise at-risk individuals publicly funded, publicly controlled and open to frequent public inspection. Ombudspersons appointed by local governments and covering small local areas might work. It's difficult to see where this will lead as the boomer generation begins to find itself for one reason or another in the care of strangers and, if we don't do something constructive soon, the situation can only get worse.

I sincerely hope you manage to help your mother, DariaVader, and get her home where she belongs as soon as possible. We all - neighbours on both sides of our common border - need to find solutions - quickly! If you come up with one, do please pass it along to Canada!

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