Thursday, April 26, 2007

Psych Cases at Country Villa

Nursing homes are not the peaceful, quiet places you might think they are, at least this one isn't.
There are psychiatric patients here, some geriatric, some not so geriatric.
"They have crazy man here," says Elisa. "From the hospital. They use restraint. At night, things happen. Only 4 CNAs, 1 LVN."
Another staff member confirmed that some patients come directly from UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital.
I don't mean to imply that Mom is not a psychiatric case; Emily and I have rescued her from being sent to a geriatric psych ward two or three times.
But she's so much older and quieter than some of the men here.
One man looks about my age and is in a wheelchair, perhaps with cerebral palsy or something. He pounds on tables and yells a lot. His elderly mother visits him in the room across the hall from Mom.
Another man, not so old and African-American, stumbles about in a big PVC cage.
"He pushed his dinner tray off," reported Nicole, a resident who is an aging small person. "I told them he was about to do it, but they ignored me. It was terrible. He has punched the CNAs."
At first I figured Mom might take an interest in all this excitement, but now I'm thinking the noise level is so high that if she ever cried for help, she'd never be heard, even though her room is right next to the nurses' station.
And I'm wondering if it is safe.

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