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Long-term care consumers and their families talk about...




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Resident Perspectives on Staffing



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The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and limitations on visitation have resulted in tens of thousands of residents suffering and dying from isolation, loneliness, and poor care.  Listen to residents of long-term care facilities talk about their experiences.


See More COVID-19 Stories

COVID-19 Stories



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Living in a Long-Term Care Facility

"Many individuals in long term care facilities have little or no family or visitors to speak of. I had a tablet that opened up the entire world to me and I am constantly amazed at what I read and learn on a daily basis." - Judith Mangum, nursing home resident

"What do you think it will take to bring about good quality care in nursing homes and other facilities? My answer: make sure the caregivers are trained." - Story by Jane O., family member of resident

Important Enough to Notice - Poem by Elaine Roberts Musser, attorney to families of nursing home residents

Important Enough to Notice

As I lie here alone, needing skilled care

Unable to walk or run as I once did

Sadly in some disarray is my hair

Away from the bustling world I am hid.


I look forward to visits from my dear son

Who, whenever he can, comes to visit

But today I wait in vain, there is no one

To brighten my morning, as here I sit.

Until the nursing staff enter my door

With a welcoming smile and pleasant word

My dark thoughts turn cheerful, and made to soar

At a kind touch and caring phrase heard.

They are my connection to life itself

Without them I would just wither away

I am made to feel not placed on a shelf

But important enough to notice this day.

Their quiet competence is reassuring

I know that I am surely in good hands

So my last years on this earth have meaning

As out of time, steadily run the sands. 

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Bed Rails

"My mother's death certificate states, "Deceased rolled out of bed compressing neck on portable railing." By 81 years of age, she had dementia, she could not move her left arm very well, and she lacked the ability to speak much or to call out. She died of asphyxia in March 2007.

Had I never pursued the matter further, I would have assumed that my mother was the only person to ever have died from asphyxiation on a bed rail. However, the Food and Drug Administration says that between 1985 and 2009, it received reports of 480 deaths, 138 nonfatal injuries, and 185 cases where staff intervened to prevent an injury. The FDA says most of those who were injured or died were “frail, elderly or confused.” The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that between 1993 and 1996 alone, “seventy-four patients died as a result of the use of bed rails." In October 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported its findings that over a nine-year period, there were approximately 36,900 visits made to hospital emergency wards due to bed rail-related injuries. The actual number of such visits may in fact be even higher. The bed rail incidents reported on by the CPSC included portable bed rails and hospital bed rails.

Like my own family, other families and even doctors may not be aware of the possible risks when bed rail-type products are used in nursing homes or hospitals or even their own homes. Until all dangerous bed rails are removed from the market, one needs to exercise extreme caution and carefully research any bed rail one chooses to allow at a person’s bedside. One can consider simple alternatives too, which present no asphyxiation risks, such as lowering a bed or placing non-slip cushioning or a mattress along the bedside of the individual at risk of fall."

- G.