Harrison Terrace in Indianapolis, Indiana formerly Wellington Manor is a one star rating nursing home according to Medicare.gov and boy do they have that right. One star means way below average according to Medicare’s standards and this nursing home certainly qualifies for way below average. It used to be a 3 star rating a couple of years ago, which is average. I have watched it go downhill, not that it was very good in the first place, but now it is horrible without much hope of it getting better anytime soon.
My mother has been in several nursing homes each one of them were awful and play the same sick twisted games that this one does. She doesn’t know much about what is going on at this point, since she has deteriorated quite a bit mentally and physically. She doesn’t know or understand who is neglecting her most of the time, as her dementia comes and goes, which means, some days she does know what happened and can remember names and situations and some she can’t.
The problem is that we, my sister and I, cannot care for mom at home due to work schedules and the issue of mom needing medically trained staff to care for her at all times. She had a stroke that paralyzed her left side and needs assistance with everything. She can no longer walk without someone beside her or go to toilet on her own or even get a cup of water. She is totally dependent upon someone else to do these things. It wasn’t always this way, but it is now and we have found that the more help mom needs the more she is neglected in the nursing home. Naturally, it should be the other way around, but this is not the case. If your family member or friend cannot fend for themselves they are in big trouble in this place.
There are some residents in the nursing home that can walk and do everything on their own or can manipulate their wheelchair or use a walker and their mind is still in tact. When this is the case they can fend for themselves and are not dependent upon the staff. However, once they lose the ability to not do things for themselves this is when they are neglected and care takes a nose dive.
One would think that you could do something about what is going on, but I have found that it is nearly impossible to prove what they (staff) have or have not done. This is due to them NOT documenting the neglect or abuse and is how they get by with what they do. It is how they cover up everything and stay in business. If I knew back 4 years ago what I know now things would have went much differently.
If you have a family member or friend in a nursing home then you need to know what to do from the beginning to protect them. The way you do it is by getting documentation; you must have it in writing. They may make all kinds of promises, but unless you have it in writing you won’t have a leg to stand on because they will deny, lie and back stab like you won’t believe. Not only this nursing home, but most all of them operate this way. They want complete CONTROL and will get it if you are not on top of everything.
I am talking about all aspects of the resident’s care such as therapy, medications, daily care plan, teeth, feet, diet and so forth. All they care about is their paperwork looking good NOT the best interest of the resident. I repeat they only care about making themselves look good NOT about the residents. I have found this out the hard way in 4 different nursing homes not just this one. This is why they are writing down all the special things that make them look good and NOT things like falls, bruises, open bleeding sores etc.
The first thing you must start doing right away is get documentation. When there is a concern or something you have discovered that is neglectful tell them you want it documented and that you want a copy of the documentation. Also, you must get a copy of the care plan in writing to back you up when confronting them with an issue that they promised to take care of, but are NOT following through on.
You need to understand that they will make verbal promises and smile and act as though they are your best friend. They can be very convincing until something goes down and then you will find out real quick where their loyalty lies and it’s not with the resident. You won’t believe the excuses and nonsense that they come up with.
I have heard it all and had many confrontations with staff, as well as management at each one of the nursing homes my mother has lived about their neglect. They may get better for about a week or so, but not long after, it’s back to the same old thing. It does no good to move her we have been there and done that. The ombudsman told us it is better to work it out where you are than to move to another nursing home and agreed that nursing homes were all about the same.
The bottom line is that when it is at all possible do what you can to keep your family member or friend at home, especially if they cannot fend for themselves for the most part. If you do move forward and place them in the nursing home then plan to be there EVERY day or else they are in big trouble and will suffer at the hands of incompetent aids and nurses who are underpaid, overworked and angry.
Even if you are there every day it will be hell and I can attest to this, since I am at the nursing home every day. They just broke my mother’s arm again for the 2nd time four weeks ago and it has been an awful ordeal for her and us. The aid who did it lied and they believe her over my mother because they say my mother has dementia, however, my mom knows exactly who did it AND how it happened and she will tell you if you ask her right now.
My mother has been through hell in this nursing home and others. They’re like torture chambers, they sit residents in wheelchairs for hours on end or keep them in the bed for as many hours without getting them up or changing their brief. Many times they only get them up to eat and that’s it. A few months ago mom had open bleeding sores from sitting in urine for hours and has had several urinary tract infections for the same reason.
We still find her lying in urine for hours and sometimes feces as well. However, it isn’t as long or as often, because we are now there every day and for longer periods of time. We have to be there or she will suffer and we know it, so there is no other choice. There is much more to write and I will be writing it, so stay tuned.
For now, if you’re having concerns you need to call the area ombudsman to learn what your rights and the residents rights are and what the nursing home can and cannot do. The nursing home may try to do things that they aren’t supposed to or threaten you with not being able to visit or even wrongfully evict you or the resident.
Harrison Terrace Indianapolis 9/7/2011
I left off at connecting with the ombudsman, which can help as well as hurt. The ombudsman is supposed to be an advocate for the nursing home residents. I have found, however, that this isn’t always the case, at least not with the ombudsman that I have been dealing with. They seem to be more of a mediator working on both sides of the fence and that to me isn’t an advocate for the resident. That said, they can be helpful in that you can learn the truth from them on your rights as well as the rights of the resident. The nursing home will lie and twist the truth in their favor.
The ombudsman also has the inside scoop on which nursing homes are good and which ones are not so good. This means that it would be a really good idea to speak with the ombudsman BEFORE you admit anyone into a nursing home. They are the ones who are called when there are problems in the nursing home, so they’re up to date on the lawsuits, complaints and reports to Board of Health on facilities in their area.
So much for the ombudsman for now. Let’s move along to staying on top of the resident’s care. One of the most important areas of the resident’s care are their medications. Always do research on the side effects, dosage and interactions with other medications. I have noticed that the nursing home doctors have way too many patients and consequently don’t pay much attention to individual cases. This alone WILL cause serious and unnecessary health problems. Someone of sound mind should have POA over the resident’s health concerns especially medications.
My sister and I have had many a fight with the nursing home doctors and nurses over my mother’s medications. They used to drug her up pretty bad until we started researching the meds online and put a stop to it. Many times she could not sit up or even talk she was so over medicated. As far as I am concerned every nursing home doctor I have had dealings with has either been incompetent or just didn’t take the time to get it right.
To add this the nursing home nurses many times do not chart the medications like they say and barely keep track of what is going on. I cannot count the times now that I have found my mother’s meds/pills in her pocket, under her pillow or some other place. This is supposed to be a big NO NO! They’re supposed to watch them take the meds, but if they are, then how are they appearing in all these places?
I am talking serious medications like blood pressure medication and others that are a matter of life and death. This happens all the time at Harrison Terrace, in fact, it just happened last week. I have reported it many times and just like all the other issues, nobody does anything. If they did, this nursing home from hell could maybe get back to a 3 star rating.
Before I go I would like to share the latest neglect issues of the past few days. Just so that you know weekends in the nursing home are the worst and this past Sunday was no exception. When I got there mom was in a lot of pain with her broken arm and the same aid that broke it was there supposedly taking care of her. Mom had told her to tell the nurse to bring pain medication, did she do it? NO she did not. Mom did not have ice water (it was very hot) and her cup was in eyesight, but out of reach. She was lying in urine that went 2 waterproof pads deep down to the mattress and her brief felt like it had a bucket of water dumped into it.
Needless to say there was a confrontation between me and the aid. It got heated, so she went to get the always incompetent day nurse, the one that DOES NOT watch mom take her meds. So, I told her about the lying excuses that the aid gave me and naturally she defended the aid like they always do there. Why I waste my time trying to get them to do the right thing I don’t know. Like I tell my sister; it will NEVER happen!
I can’t believe these people have the nerve to call themselves caregivers and health care professionals. All of management and staff that work at Harrison Terrace know about all of this and do nothing. In fact, they cover it up and deny daily what they see, it is not reported or documented. The worst part is that they could do something about it, but choose not to.
For those who are following my story it is all true every bit of it. I will continue to share what’s happening now as well as what has happened. Also, I’ll give more advice on how to keep neglect and abuse to a minimum. The best way I have found so far is to be there as much as possible.
Harrison Terrace Indianapolis- 9/9/2011
Just when you think it can’t get worse it does, but before I get into the latest neglect update I want to mention remodeling at Harrison Terrace since American Senior Communities has taken over. They have it looking good as far as outward appearances go, unfortunately this is where it ends. The remodeling is to lure people in and seems to be all they care about. The bottom line is don’t allow the new decor to have any influence on your decision because it is, by far, the only good thing going in the place.
There have been several serious concerns the past couple of days that are disturbing. Nothing new, mind you, that we have not had happen before and have written up on one of their complaint forms, which they do not do anything about by the way. Nevertheless, they are upsetting and scary.
Not sure what’s worse them disabling the call light, so that mom cannot get help or leaving her sitting in the wheelchair unsupervised in her room knowing that she is a very high fall risk and might stand up and fall breaking bones or worse. We have addressed these concerns multiple times at care plan meetings and written them up as I mentioned, however, they do not follow through on their promises to check the call light daily or make sure mom is supervised at all times when sitting in the wheelchair.
Then there is the never ending problem of letting her lie in bed for hours on end in urine. They are supposed to check her every hour as they have promised us at care plan meetings, but deny it later of course and say it is 2 hours knowing full well that in 2 hours mom will be swimming in it due to her serious wetting issue. They don’t check in 2 hours anyway, it’s more like 4-6 hours by the looks of things when we get there.
This is why you must get a copy of the care plan as mentioned before, because they will make promises to your face and deny it later when you call them on it. Then, when you don’t have the documentation you don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s your word against theirs and there are way more of them than you, so they win, you lose, too bad so sad is their motto.
While I am at it I might as well get into the thievery that occurs on nearly a daily basis. It was just yesterday that they stole another one of my mother’s pillows. Not their cheap blue plastic things, but ones that we bought and are out now about $60 or more just in pillows. We have had so many things stolen that I can’t possibly remember them all. Once in a while something is recovered, but usually it’s gone forever.
They blame this thievery on what they call the ‘wanderers’ these are residents that they allow to wander in and out of the other resident’s rooms. I call them thieves they call them wanderers. I tell them to watch them closer and not allow them to come into my mother’s room and they tell me to hide my mother’s belongings, so that they can’t steal them.
So it seems, they refuse to accept responsibility for what goes on or what is stolen at Harrison Terrace and have never even said they were sorry for the losses or the neglect and abuse for that matter. I believe the reason they don’t apologize is that it’s an admission of guilt and they will NEVER admit to any wrong doing. Lies and excuses are all you get.
That’s it for now, but I can promise there will be more for those of you who need to know what is really going on in nursing homes. Believe me, it’s not just at Harrison Terrace Indianapolis, but all over the country. The horror stories are true no doubt about it.
Harrison Terrace Indianapolis 09/12/2011
Activities at Harrison Terrace are supposedly a big part of the nursing home experience. My mother hates activities there and with good reason. It becomes apparent rather quickly that the activities are a way to lure the resident’s into the dining room area like a herd of cattle where they may sit for who knows how long. While there may be an activity of some sort going on that is entertaining for a short period of time the problem is that when the activity is over they’re stuck there sitting doing nothing.
Why do they do this? The do it because it is easier to supposedly supervise the residents. You see, when residents are in their room then the aids have to answer call lights and actually work. Or heaven forbid toilet them! I am talking about residents that are like my mother and are bound to the wheelchair and end up stuck in the dining room or some area by the nurses station for hours unable to get back to their room to lay down and rest.
When you cannot manipulate the wheelchair anymore to make it go where you want it to, you depend on someone else to take you where you want to go. Trying to get an aid or someone’s attention or listen to you at all is very rare. They look right through the resident’s as if they are invisible and go about their business. Day in and day out this is how it goes.
Needless to say activities in this place are a joke. They make it sound good though and trick a lot of resident’s into going. They even offer them junk food to get them there. As mentioned above, outward appearances are a big thing at Harrison Terrace. They know how to bait the hook…
Next, on my list is therapy and I must say this nursing home is the worse than the others. Restorative therapy is supposed to be ongoing, however, this is not the case at Harrison Terrace. They say they will do it, but they don’t. Also, the therapist’s attitudes are awful at best just like many of the aids, nurses and other staff. In my opinion they are incompetent as well. Their most recent screw up was the inability to order a compression glove that fits. The orthopedic surgeon ordered it because mom’s hand has excessive swelling from where they broke her arm. Did they ever do it? NO! It is now over 6 weeks later and STILL no compression glove.
At this point we never expect anything good to happen at Harrison Terrace. In fact, we expect the worst every time we go this way if it isn’t too bad it’s a good day. Today when I got there they had her pants down around her knees lying in bed under the covers. The last time this happened it was the day they broke her arm. I have no idea why they do this and nobody will give me an answer. For me there is no logical explanation as to why they wouldn’t either pull the pants up or take them off. I just don’t get it!
The crazy part is that they won’t admit it and I know they had to pull her pants down to her knees or not pull them up all the way, one or the other. She physically cannot do this herself she only has one hand that is usable the other one is paralyzed and arm is broke, she cannot use it.
I have seen and heard things in this nursing home that will haunt me forever. Not only things done to my mother, but to other residents. Just today I heard 2 aids talking in the hall about a resident smelling bad and one said that they probably haven’t changed her all day and I’m not about to and when I find out who it is I am going to cuss them out. They never did change her. I see call lights on for over an hour down the hall and when I tell a nurse or aid they rudely say we know and do absolutely NOTHING.
The thing that bothers me the most is that when the aid broke my mom’s arm she knew she hurt her and didn’t report it. She may not have known the arm was broke, but she knew mom was hurt bad and DID NOT report it, but left her lying in bed in pain and in feces. I figure this happened from mom losing bodily function due to the pain. Who knows how long she had been lying there like that. When I came in this is the condition she was in and I had to practically beg them to order an Xray.
The way it happened is mom started to fall back on the bed and the aid tried to catch her and lost balance falling on top of her. This wouldn’t be so bad if the aid had not denied it and owned up to what she did, however, she still lies about it to this day and this means she cannot be trusted.
If management at Harrison Terrace had any sense whatsoever they would not allow this aid to still take care of my mother, but they do. They believe her over mom due to mom’s dementia, but mom knows she did it and that she lied about it, so she doesn’t feel safe with her anymore and we feel the same way. Hopefully, they will get rid of her soon or she will quit.
I don’t think she should be allowed to care for the elderly she hurts resident’s and doesn’t report it. She has no conscious!
What do you think?
Harrison Terrace Indianapolis 9/14/2011
Did I mention they tried to kick mom out and this is just after they told us we love your mother and right after they broke her arm. They were not successful, because they tried to do it by accusing me and my sister of a bunch of nonsense that wasn’t true. To add to this they used bogus paperwork that didn’t give us the ability to appeal mom’s discharge. The paperwork was also missing other important language, such as another nursing home that they recommend or have found for mom to go to. There is a specific form to be used and they didn’t use it.
How did we find out that it wasn’t valid? By calling the ombudsman and asking him and when I told him what they had done he said they can’t do it that way they have rules to follow and they’re not following them. They want rid of us really bad, since we have reported them to several organizations and had them investigated. Not that it did any good they are really good at not documenting things they don’t want known.
You see, nursing homes hate outside investigations, it causes them a lot of trouble. They like to do in house investigation, which is like no investigation at all. They are all paid by this place, so they’re not going to find anything that implies guilt on their end. When they tell you they are doing an investigation they will find nothing, because they are trying really hard to find nothing and if they do find something then I believe they cover it up.
Most days I witness some form of neglect and abuse at Harrison Terrace if not with my mother then someone else. Just last night I saw a resident standing up in the dining room that I knew wasn’t supposed to be standing. So, I pointed at her and told the aid and the aid went into nasty attitude mode and said I can’t be running after these people and serve dinner too. The lady started walking rather quickly wobbling and you could tell she was going to fall, but staff never made a move to stop her as they should have, so she fell. Then the aid proceeded to yell at her for getting up instead of asking if she was okay. Compassionate caregiver NOT!
Not sure what the extent of her injuries were, but the same lady, believe it or not, fell out of her wheelchair tonight in the hall right by my mother’s room. Remember, just last night she hit the floor hard in the dining room while neglectful and uncaring aids watched and did nothing. So, here I go again telling the nurse this time that there is a lady who fell in the hall.
The same sorry aid that allowed her to fall last night, tonight sarcastically said she is just trying to get attention by falling in the hall. The fact of the matter is the lady has Alzheimer’s and has no idea what she is doing. I wonder how long this woman can survive this place. True nursing home horror stories at Harrison Terrace.
Harrison Terrace Indianapolis 9/20/11
It has been 6 days since last update and for good reason I was busy getting my mother out of this place. We decided, once again, that it was time to try another nursing home. Even though we know they are mostly all bad, just varying degrees of bad, we figure it simply cannot be any worse than this one. The day of the move was the worst as management at Harrison Terrace threw my mother’s belongings in big bags without permission. We had boxes and were going to pack things up nicely like normal people do, but being the control freaks that they are they took it upon themselves to disrespect mom’s property one last time, so they were awful to the very end. No reason to do it other than spite I suppose.
The new nursing home is Miller’s Merry Manor and just so that you know I plan to keep this post updated on what is going on there. At this point we can see that the care is better in some areas. You see, Harrison Terrace was bad in all areas there was nothing good about the place at the time of leaving, therefore, any good thing is an improvement as we see it.
Thus far, they give mom her medications like they’re supposed to and follow up with other doctor’s like the orthopedic surgeon. Therapy is better she is already being helped in that area. However, the in room care is just as bad, at least so far, as Harrison Terrace. This means the aids will probably be an ongoing concern. To be more specific, they don’t have enough aids to care for the resident’s and some aids are incompetent and have bad attitudes.
Every nursing home we have been in the in room care was bad, so we were prepared for this to be the case in this one as well. We have scheduled a care plan meeting asap to let mom’s needs be known to all those in management. We have also made a list of these needs and are putting the list in mom’s room on the wall. They will have no excuse for not providing proper care other than not reading and following the list.
Who knows what will go on at the Merry Manor it remains to be seen. Whatever it is I will make it known as it happens. So far, the worst thing has been that I was there from 11 am to 7 pm yesterday and not one aid came into the room to check on mom. I told them about it and they said she had not been added to their list. What if I had not been there? Mom doesn’t remember the call light most of the time, so she would have been stuck for 8 hours with no care at all. Here we go again…
Update on Merry Manor Nursing Home Indianapolis 9/26/2011
The nurses or the aids have not improved thus far, however, I didn’t expect them to. In fact, the nurses have gotten worse in that they make the resident wait forever to get medication. The meds that are scheduled seem to get there an hour before or an hour after, but when it’s not you might as well just settle in, since they may or may not bring it. For example, my mother had diarrhea and she needed something to stop it and the nurse argued about it like she didn’t believe me or my mom. Why would anyone say they needed diarrhea medication unless they needed it?
We have also had more problems with aids allowing mom to sit in urine soaked brief too long as well as leaving urine soaked pads on her bed and covering them up with clean ones. In other words, instead of changing all bed linen they just cover the soiled ones, which is much easier. However, being the experienced nursing home detective that I am I know to check, so it didn’t work. This happened all the time at Harrison Terrace and other nursing homes. The bottom line is, don’t trust the bed linen, check it thoroughly by lifting up the top covers to inspect underneath.
You have to stay on top of them or they will try to get away with all kinds of stuff. Why do they do it? They do it because they know they can plus the fact that there are no consequences. The only price I have ever seen them pay is that they are annoyed by the State Board inspections when you report them, but that’s it. They fill these places up knowing full well they don’t have the staff to take care of them. It’s all about money.
Miller’s Merry Manor Indianapolis 10/13/2011
It’s been about a month now since my mother was transferred to Merry Manor. I have been there every day, so I see most everything that goes on. There is only one other person who is there visiting every day and we exchange info on the level of care received in this nursing home. Thus far, it is still similar to all the others, but not as bad.We both agree there are only varying degrees of bad in nursing homes and that none are good.
The biggest problem at Merry Manor, like many other nursing homes, is that they don’t have the proper ratio of nurses aids to patients needed. There isn’t enough help, so the residents have to wait sometimes for hours in wheelchair just to be put to bed or lie down and rest. This is after a long exhaustive day of being stuck in the wheelchair in some room or hallway trying to get somebody to help them. The owners of these places allow this to go on so that they can make more money. The less staff, the less they spend, and the more residents they have the more profit they make.
I am trying to not go to the nursing home as often, but every time I do this my mother suffers at the hands of uncaring or too busy CNA’s. At this time I am there over 40 hours a week, but trying to get it back down to 25 a week or less. This is hard to do, because when I am not there I worry about what it going on, if mom is lying in urine and feces for hours, or stuck in a wheelchair trying to get someone to lay her down in bed to rest.
The Merry Manor nurses are still as hateful as ever I have no idea why they are nurses, but my guess is money. They give my mom her meds on time sometimes, but mostly do it in an order that is easiest for them. I don’t have to talk to them much and I am grateful for that. I mostly stay in my mom’s room, however, I do visit other residents and talk to them.
If going to the nursing home for hours on end and need to cut back it’s best to do it a little at a time. For example, on days that I go at 11:00 am, I wait until 2:00 pm. I’m always there for dinner and to put mom to bed. After dinner is one of the worst times in the nursing home as far as residents being stuck in their wheelchairs waiting, because it takes so long for the aids to get them ready for bed one by one.
Another reason this time of the day is so bad is that it’s the end of the day and resident’s are exhausted from dealing with living in a nursing home, which is emotionally draining. They’re also physically worn out from getting up so early and being stuck in uncomfortable wheelchairs for long periods of time and at times all day. They say they get them up every 2 hours, but this isn’t true they just move them around to make it appear so.
Miller’s Merry Manor Indianapolis 11/9/2011
It’s been awhile, I have been waiting to gain more experience with this nursing home, so that I can give better information on the care at Miller’s Merry Manor. Basically, it’s still better than the last one, but not good by any means. The first shift is pretty good, however, the 2nd shift is horrible, as far as one on one care goes, which is the aids with residents. I have figured out one of the reasons why this difference in shifts occurs.
Once again, it goes back to the nurses at Merry Manor. The nurses are the ones who are supposed to, note I said supposed to, make sure the aids are doing their job. Well, when the nurses and aids become buddies the aids can pretty much get away with a lot of stuff. If the nurse is on them making sure resident care is up to par then all goes well, but if not, care is flat out bad. So it seems, in this case, that the 2nd shift nurse isn’t supervising the aids as needed. As a result, the residents suffer.
It’s about time for another nursing home horror story and I got one that just happened last night. I noticed that a room had the call light on for a very long time and the door was shut. Call lights are not supposed to be on a long time, like 45 minutes or more, which is the case here. Since the door was shut I assumed an aid was in there, but as it turns out there wasn’t and the two women in there began to scream “FIRE” to get someone to come in the room and finally they did when they felt like it.
These women were okay, but what if they had not been, somebody could have died as long as it took aids to answer that call light. The really scary part is that the room was directly across from the nurses station, so the nurse had to know that the aids were not answering the call light and let it go. Why? Because the nurse and aids are friends, so there is no supervisory relationship, which, once again, means residents suffer.