I am a former employee of Emeritus at Palm Court, Hilton Head Island, SC. I know nothing about this particular situation but was witness to numerous, outrageous behaviors and acts of neglect at this facility. This is the reason I left this facility. Though my heart went out to the residents, I could no longer emotionally handle the circumstances. There were residents that had no business being at this facility; it was below the level of care necessary for their condition. The doctor utilized by this facility routinely signed off on patients being at "the appropriate level of care" when this was in no way true and accurate. There were residents that were contracted, with bed sores to the bone, that were not capable of moving on their own at all - these residents belonged in a skilled nursing center. In this location, no patient lifts (i.e., Hoyer lifts) are allowed, yet there were residents that were in grave need of these. As employees, we were expected to physically lift and move these residents without assistance of any kind - be it a lift or with the assistance of another person. This is wrong, and against the law. It is wrong first and foremost for the residents that need a greater level of care and it is wrong to expect employees to endanger their physical health that are simply trying to provide care for them. Additionally, on a daily basis I witnessed the staff routinely cutting meals short simply to "get finished." Residents that were in need of assistance eating were not given the help they needed. When I would take the time to assist residents in eating I would be severely criticized by other employees because I was "wasting time." It was routine for other caregivers to quickly get residents in bed after dinner so they could then find a comfortable spot to fall asleep for the night. I was outraged! Residents were not given the respect they deserved. They were not given decent care - at all. The Director was acutely aware of all of these issues, yet did nothing. (this person is still the Director as of this writing (03/2015). Her sole concern was filling beds; not with the welfare of the residents under her ultimate care. At one point she even questioned the nurse in charge when it was stated the resident needed to go to the hospital; she wanted to "wait and see" how the resident was in an hour or so - the nurse called the hospital for immediate transfer. The Director's concern was over the possibility of losing a filled bed - disgusting! There were ongoing issues with staff problems - okay, I will state it loud and clear...it was a black/white issue. The majority of the care-giving staff was African-American and there was no doubt that "they" did not like it when a white staff person was hired. This was widely known and discussed. There were numerous and ongoing occasions where extremely racial comments were made against white staff from the African-Americans, which the Director and other management were acutely aware of yet nothing was ever done about it! Reverse racism was alive and well on a daily basis and not only tolerated by management, but completely accepted and excused! The Director clearly appeared very intimidated and scared of her African-American care-giving staff. There were instances of racial epithets thrown very publicly (in this middle of the dining room) toward white staff from the blacks, white care-givers being cussed at, etc., yet NOTHING was ever done! IF the situation had been reversed, I cannot begin to imagine what the backlash would have been. The Director has no business being in the position she is in - her concern is NOT with the resident's welfare, but clearly was with her bottom line....how many beds she had filled. The overall atmosphere of the place was dismal - it was a very sad place. It made my heart hurt for the residents, as well as the family members that had no idea of what it was truly like for their loved ones. "Activities" for the residents were dismal and severely lacking! There was a television in the front room, but there was not cable because the Director didn't think it was necessary. Instead, there were DVD's available but most of them didn't work. The Director didn't want to spend the money on cable television; apparently she did not feel the residents were "worth" the expense.
Sadly, I could go on, but I just cannot. Though I loved the residents, and had the utmost of respect for them, I just could not "take" it any longer; I had to leave.
It is my understanding that this Emeritus location has been purchased by another company and I can only hope that the numerous and severe wrongs will be corrected - as quickly as possibly! However, I don't see how the new company could keep the current Director in place - if they are truly interested in positive change.
I have a very special place in my heart for the elderly; I'm not sure why, but I love and respect them more than I could ever express - they are interesting, captivating, and to be revered! Emeritus is never a place I would want anyone I know - or don't know - to ever have to be!
From someone that cares deeply about the elderly and the care and respect they receive - and so richly deserve.
PLEASE, PLEASE do ALL you can to check out any location you are considering for you elderly loved one...PLEASE!!
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