April 29th, 2021
Amy spent 12 days in March in a physical therapy rehab facility, following elective hernia repair surgery, and it was not a good experience, for a number of reasons - so much so that she reported the facility to the state.
Amy is an insulin-dependent diabetic, and is allowed only 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. While a temporary resident of the facility, each meal she was brought had 3-5 times that amount of carbs.
For example, in one lunch, Amy was provided with 2 pieces of fried chicken with breading (~20 gm carbs), plus mashed potatoes with gravy (~40 gm carbs), plus cooked carrots (~25 gm carbs), plus cooked corn (~40 gm carbs), plus macaroni and cheese (~45 gm carbs) - a total of ~170 grams of carbs, nearly 3 times what Amy is allowed per meal.
When Amy complained internally, she was made out to be just a very picky eater, who liked to have things her own way. Things only changed for the better after Amy “live-Tweeted” out to her 11,000+ Twitter followers a particularly bad meal experience, complete with photographs.
Amy was able to confirm the facts that:
There were additional diabetic residents, some of whom were there permanently, and some of whom lived in the dementia ward, unable to advocate for better food for themselves;
The facility had just one menu for all of its residents; and
While additional menu options were technically available, they were not commonly provided to residents, and not provided at all to residents who did not complain about the food.
Other issues included delays of up to 2 hours with providing scheduled pain medication, and delays of over 30 minutes in just getting a response to hitting the call button for the nurse. The facility had just 1 nurse and 1 aide on duty per floor. Often, the “response” would consist of the aide sticking their head in to ask what was needed, followed by an additional delay while the aide relayed the need to the nurse.
Amy filed a complaint with the state agency while still residing at the facility. She received a follow-up call from the agency’s investigator shortly after she had been discharged home.
On April 29, Amy received a letter from the state agency, with the results of their investigation. The "investigation found that there was sufficient evidence to confirm a violation(s) of state and/or federal requirements related to your concerns."
The letter continues, "The facility was issued a statement of deficiency and is required to submit a plan of correction" which the state agency will approve or disapprove, and then the state will determine if the facility has corrected the violation.
Amy reported her receipt of the state’s letter to her Twitter followers, and noted that she feels “just a teensy bit proud, and a lot vindicated.” In response to one of the comments to the Twitter thread she posted, Amy said, “Well, if it had just been me, I probably wouldn't have bothered. I was only there 12 days. But they had other diabetics as permanent residents, some in the dementia ward, and clearly were not going to feed them properly unless told they had to by the state.”
Amy thanked her followers for helping to make the state take an interest in the complaint by having commented on the threads she posted while briefly residing in the facility, and told them that “this is your victory, too!”