Questioning the Hebrew Home

To The Editor:

I am outraged, once again, about the spending of millions of dollars by The Hebrew Home on everything but direct patient care.

My father died there in April 2007 because of a lack of trained caregivers and the lack of a particular piece of equipment specifically needed to prevent a horrifying, gaping necrotic wound in his heel from becoming a systemic infection. He suffered miserably for the last year and a half of his life because of a geometrically progressing series of failures by the Home, contributing to this injury, which went undetected for some time. He never should have died when he did, despite being 92 years old. He had absolutely no organic disease.

The excuse was, and remains, that there isn’t enough trained staff, or staff at all. I would many times arrive there between 6-7:30 p.m. to find my father agonizing in his wheelchair, left alone in a hallway, begging to be put to bed. Everyone was on their dinner break except for one aide who I heard say to a co-workers, “If they fall, they fall. I’m only one person.”

Such callousness is inexcusable.

Endowments made to this facility would be far better spent in providing enough skilled nurses and aides rather than more artwork and new plantings on their vast landscape. While these amenities are very lovely, many of the tortured residents, their frustrated and agonized relatives and friends would prefer to know their loved ones were safe and secure and receiving the best medical care that money can buy.

The bragging rights for this facility expired many years ago. A neighbor of mine has a parent currently living there and she has shared with me the continuing decline of the Hebrew Home. If this is the best in the nation, God help those in the worst, or even the mediocre.

Madlyn W. Dickens

 

 

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