I was sad to read the letter from a grieving daughter about the lack of care her mother received at a local long-term care facility. Having worked in long-term care during most of the 35 years I worked as an LPN, I have seen some of the best and worst in such care.
In Cedar Rapids, we have one of the best long-term care facilities in the state, West Ridge Care Center. I was privileged to work at West Ridge for five years before I retired. Every day I saw how caring the staff members are with the residents. I am currently a volunteer at West Ridge.
The administrator, Richard Curphey, knows the name of every resident and staff member. The director of nursing, Katie Ross, like Mr. Curphey, has an open-door policy for all residents and their families. She is diligent about seeing that the nursing staff is providing the best care available for all the residents.
Before putting a loved one in a long-term care facility, ask for a tour. Ask questions and demand to see the latest state inspection report. All facilities are required to have a copy on hand and produce it when asked.
If you feel the needs of your loved one are not being met, Iowa has an ombudsman program. Your long-term care provider has the phone number for the one for this area. You should call him or her to express your concerns when you feel you are not getting answers from your provider.
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