Thursday, September 19, 2013

Social work in a nursing home

Basically how Social Work is viewed in nursing homes

With all the talk and buzz going on about what Americans love to call: "Obamacare" I have to write a blog about the 'death squads' so many would like you to believe it might create.  I got tired of reading: "They'll kill Grandma."

Well, in my book (literally) nursing homes have always been the 'death squads' people fear, it's just that until those who wanted to thwart the passing of health care for all, it didn't get any attention.  Will the new health care kill Grandma?  Hardly, but the nursing home you place Grandma in, just might.

I saw, first hand, how nursing homes work, always self-serving, always for their own benefit, not your loved one's, benefit.  After all, the owners must appease the share holders so this billion dollar business cranks out money, like a money machine, cranking out money 24/7.

For example:  One of the nursing homes I was a Social Worker at, decided a lady, who had been very well off and was self-pay for 10 years (that's how long it took to make her bankrupt)and now had to obtain Medicaid, it was time to get rid of her because she developed dementia and Medicaid didn't pay enough to make the extra care worth the nursing home's while.  The Administrator decided to systematically start a campaign and paper trail to back her up when the facility finally bounced her out.  The paper trail was to ensure the nursing home could win because the Administrator knew there would be a hearing brought about by her family.

There are very few reasons a resident can be bounced out of a nursing home.  The previously mentioned example I witnessed and mentioned above, was not one of them.  So basically it was an illegal action, but in one of those shades of gray areas.

One reason for getting bounced from a nursing home is: Failure to pay Grandma's bill.  Death squads from the new health care?  Well fail to pay Grandma's bill and see how fast she is evicted.  Sounds like a death squad to me, just send her god knows where due to lack of money, and you will see how much the nursing home gives a shit about her. 

This is something Social Workers and loved ones need to be aware of.  If you suspect your loved one is being bounced unfairly, you just might be right.  Social Workers should always question some actions taken by the nursing home.  I know, I know, it's hard to bite the hand that feeds you (or issues your paycheck) but that is exactly what the nursing home is counting on.  The fear of reprimand, or firing, is what ensures them you will stick up for them, taking their side, right or wrong. But I just hope you pick the right side to advocate for. 

Loved ones and Social Workers:  If a nursing home is a Medical Model nursing home, and they try to laud the 'great quality of life' being shoved down your throat:  Medical Model is Not a Good Quality of life. 

The Penn Yan nursing home I had an interview at, tried to feed me that shit, I knew better.  My comment to them?  "Do You have a nursing station in Your living room?"  I got no answer to that one. Ask it at a care plan meeting and see what your answer will be. 

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