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Letter to the editor- Sherry Barnes

Loved ones in nursing homes still need you

Editor:

            My father, Ray Akins, recently passed away. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September. He lived at home for a short while and was later admitted first to the hospital and then to hospice. Stunning everyone, he was able to keep on fighting and pulling through. However, with his admittance into a local nursing home, that wonderful spirit was subdued and eventually silenced.

            I am writing on behalf of all loved ones who are placed into nursing homes. My father allowed us to put him there because he needed around-the-clock care. He had a wonderful attitude about it and made many friends. However, he always knew he had us to look out for him and make sure that his needs were met. Even so, there were many incidents that appalled us. Some staff members were cold and rude to us and him. At times, my father missed dosages of medication and went without refills for oxygen. He waited patiently for meals that were not delivered. This all occurred to a man who had children who were constantly up at the nursing home or calling to check on him. What about all of those people who do not have family members who are as diligent about the care of their loved one? What medicines are being skipped? How many people are being forgotten at dinner time?

            I realize that there are some people in nursing homes who truly care about their patients. Unfortunately, there appears to be just as many that are only doing a job. My father did his part to fight the cancer and prolong his life. It is sad that trusted others did not do their part.

            It is my hope that readers of this letter will be reminded of, or made aware of, just how critical their continued involvement is in the care of their loved one in a nursing home.

Sherry Barnes

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