Standard of Care?
We moved my father to CVM in August of 2013. We were told that he would be seen by a doctor and a podiatrist and anything else he needed while there. The owner is a retired MD who said she lived on site and would take good care of my dad. The grounds were pretty and the staff seemed friendly and caring.
While the staff was very friendly, we rarely ever saw or heard from the owner. My father, who has dementia, declined rapidly while there. He lost the ability to walk and talk. Now, I am fully aware that this is the progression of the disease, but in the 7 weeks there he lost over 40 pounds, and stopped swallowing, but the staff never thought to let us know! He never saw a doctor and we rarely heard from the owner.
On week 7 my mom was able to corner the owner and ask that he see a doctor that day. Later that night we received a call that they called an ambulance. He had sat with his dinner in his mouth for an hour...AN HOUR! Before anyone noticed. He was weak and unresponsive. By the time he got to the ER they said he was terribly dehydrated and malnourished.
Again, these are symptoms of advanced dementia, so I can't say CVM was entirely at fault. However, he was far from advanced stages just 7 weeks ago when he went there.
At the hospital they noted that he had a stage three bedsore that had become infected. STAGE THREE...GROSS! The nurses were shocked at the condition of his skin, including this bedsore. The doctor said this type of infection can accelerate dementia.
At this point we made the agonizing decision that hospice was the best option, which is where we are now. We were with my dad yesterday when the owner of CVM called and wanted to know if he was coming back. When I told her he was in hospice, she said, "we'll we have hospice here so you should bring him here." When I told her we would not be bringing him back, she started to argue with me and demanded to speak to my mother. So, after prying my mother away from my day's bedside, my mom explained that he would not be back.
Again, I know that my dad has dementia, I know that there is no happy ending here. But I do not think he received the type of care we were promised. Perhaps he was too far along with the disease for the staff at CVM. But why would they not say so? Why would they take my mother's money, tell her he was in good hands, smile pleasantly when we visited, which we did often, and not attend to basic needs...skin care, feeding, etc.