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Comments for: Fight brewing over DHHS plan to close Penobscot Nursing Home

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  • Anonymous

     I guess my first comment included a little ” vulgarity” and was removed . however it was the best way to describe the place ( Penobscot Nursing Home ). Use your imagination. It’s that bad !

    •  what are you talking about,the people are treated well there and its clean.so please how would you say different?

      • Anonymous

        My Mother was there,  briefly. That place is a craphole. Some of the bathrooms don’t have running water. There is never anyone to help the residents when needed and the place isn’t even that clean. Needless to day, that’s why Mom was only there briefly. I wouldn’t leave my dog there. 

        •  Our mother has been a resident at Penobscot  Nursing Home for over 10 years, she loves it there and she is always cleaned and dressed up everyday. They take great care of our mom. Thanks Penobscot Nursing Home, Shirley and Sheryl

          • Anonymous

            Good for your Mom. My Mom wasn’t and is no longer there.

            ________________________________
            From: Disqus
            To: frostylobomerlin@yahoo.com
            Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 8:01 AM
            Subject: [bdn] Re: Fight brewing over DHHS plan to close Penobscot Nursing Home

            Disqus generic email template

            ShirleyD wrote, in response to frostylobomerlin:
            Our mother has been a resident at Penobscot  Nursing Home for over 10 years, she loves it there and she is always cleaned and dressed up everyday. They take great care of our mom. Thanks Penobscot Nursing Home, Shirley and Sheryl Link to comment

        • Anonymous

          Did you take your mother home?Did you talk to administration about what you were observing,did you question anyone?Have you ever worked in a nursing home,I would say no!The residents are very well cared for,yes, the place is very rundown but the quality of care is exceptional.If you would like to leave your dog I’m sure he/she would be well loved and taken care of! 

          • Anonymous

            No, I did not take my Mom home. She would be unsafe without 24/7 care. She has dementia and wanders, We placed her elsewhere. I’m a CNA so yes I’ve worked in Nursing homes and know that people are taken care of, but I also know that my Mom wasn’t one of them.

            ________________________________
            From: Disqus
            To: frostylobomerlin@yahoo.com
            Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 8:09 AM
            Subject: [bdn] Re: Fight brewing over DHHS plan to close Penobscot Nursing Home

            Disqus generic email template

            suziesmom wrote, in response to frostylobomerlin:
            Did you take your mother home?Did you talk to administration about what you were observing,did you question anyone?Have you ever worked in a nursing home,I would say no!The residents are very well cared for,yes, the place is very rundown but the quality of care is exceptional.If you would like to leave your dog I’m sure he/she would be well loved and taken care of! Link to comment

        • Anonymous

           I’d say you’ve never, been to Penobscot Nursing Home, I worked there for 10 years. My sister works there now, I think she’s been there about 14 years. I have had family members  as residents there. I have worked at other nursing homes, and I can say unequivocally, that the care at Penobscot Nursing home is the best of any nursing home I have worked at.

          • Anonymous

            Hello! My Mom was there and I know what I saw. Sorry if you disagree.

            ________________________________
            From: Disqus
            To: frostylobomerlin@yahoo.com
            Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 9:27 AM
            Subject: [bdn] Re: Fight brewing over DHHS plan to close Penobscot Nursing Home

            Disqus generic email template

            searoses wrote, in response to frostylobomerlin:
            I’d say you’ve never, been to Penobscot Nursing Home, I worked there for 10 years. My sister works there now, I think she’s been there about 14 years. I have had family members  as residents there. I have worked at other nursing homes, and I can say unequivocally, that the care at Penobscot Nursing home is the best of any nursing home I have worked at. Link to comment

  • Anonymous

    God I hope I die before I’m relegated to be a mere bed occupant that can be sold to a private firm.

    Where are our politicians that are supposed to be looking after their constituents?

    Someone should be looking into the apparent collusion between DHHS and Atlantic Healthcare.

    • Anonymous

      .. and the state gives $9,000,000 per year to the Maine Maritime Academy with 1/2 of the student body from out of state.. but must close nursing facilities for Maine’s aged.  Priorities are priorities for the connected insiders.

      • Anonymous

        That is $9 million well spent. I don’t know what your problem is with MMA, but you obviously have it confused with a nursing home.

        The problem is the selling of nursing home beds on the open market being regulated by DHHS.
        Atlantic Healthcare is planning on taking over 30 beds from Washington County in Calais to Ellsworth where apparently the think they can get more private pay customers.

        I can’t for the life of me understand how the state can mandate how many nursing home beds can be alloted. If they are alloted to Washington County, they can just willy nilly take them away and give them to another county.

        • Anonymous

           He didn’t get in when he applied.

  • Penobscot and other communities need to wake up.  Services for aging population are the key to economic longevity.  Hats off to Bucksport for figuring this out and being the early mover.  Penobscot, Orland, Castine, Brooklin, Deer Isle… You snooze you lose.  You could have had this windfall of $$

    •  what are you talking about?that home has been there for years,bucksport doesn’t even have a home for the elderly.

    • Anonymous

      Well aren’t you a smug(_*_).

  • Anonymous

    This is quite interesting the corrupt middle management according to the gov. is trying to close one facility and spend millions building a new one I wonder who benefits from this great plan could this be another hope house????????

    • Anonymous

      Apparently the recipient of this largess is Atlantic Healthcare. The same company that got under the radar approval from DHHS to move the nursing home beds from Calais to Ellsworth.

  • Old Bear

    Has the Maine Care been cut for the somalians in Lewiston and there EBT cards or is the state still supporting them?? If yes great and if  not lets take care of the Maine people first.

  • Anonymous

    How can the State allow beds in Calais to be “transfered” to Ellsworth and Bucksport? How does this benefit the families in Calais that live two hours away? Why isn’t there some logical limit on distances allowed for these so called transfers? So, a private company can close beds in Fort Kent and open up a comparable facility in Kittery and the beds are staus quo?

    • Anonymous

      Follow the money…

    • Anonymous

      They won’t be happy until they’ve killed every tax payer who deserves the many years of taxes they paid in to be paid back to them.
      One week Maine is in the hole by millions., the next we we are in the surplus of millions. It looks to me like the government is trying  to kill those who have paid taxes for decades to keep that persons money.
      Doctors are like DHHS, they do not treat the cause they treat symptoms just like DHHS gives out tax payers money to those who don’t deserve it but not to the tax payer when they need their money back.

  • My question is what role did DHHS’ long standing payment to providers problem play in the financial aspects of this and other failures?   Having been at Penobscot many times as a visitor or hospice volunteer over many years I would hazard a guess that 100% of residents depend on public payments..there is no other money..no endowments..no private  pay patients to help even out the cash flow when the payments they count on take so long to clear. And it doesn’t take long for private pay patients to run through all their assets in nursing home care and become public pay residents.

    This story sounds a big alarm bell for Maine’s rural communities .Is this our future that our parents, friends and nieghbors will have to go to nursing homes so far away ?  It would be devastating to  be cut off from the drop ins and visits, the social continuity that means so much in the context of other losses and declining abilities.

    Maybe we need to start re envisioning continuity of care for our aging loved ones..for ouselves as aging persons.  Maybe the traditional instiutional  nursing home model is not the way to go..maybe we need to be looking at in home care and shared homes/ shared care for smaller groups in community, small local hopsices.

    It is clear that there is no place for rural communities in the emerging model of nursing home construction and management in Maine.
     

    • Anonymous

      My grandmother was struck by dementia in her late 60’s and lived another 25 years not knowing anybody, not capable of enjoying life in any way.  She had a small house.  My mother (now 88, a working artist) now lives in that house and the only reason she can be there is because she found a woman who had a small boarding home for geriatric patients.  That person took care of my grandmother for many years, keeping her out of a nursing home and keeping the house in the family at a cost that my mother could afford.  For years after my grandmother’s blessed passing, my mother continued to give this good person a gift each year as thanks.

      I am never going into a nursing home.  I’ll head into the river before that happens.

      • narthwoods,

        Very generous of you to share your story which is exactly to the heart of what many of us are exploring as re envisioning continuity of care for the aging in rural areas.  It should be possible for more people to do for their loved one’s what you did for your grandmother with a little support that would be far less costly than full blown nursing home care. 

        We are looking into house shares for the elderly here too..folk with large homes they can no longer maintain taking in paying room mates and sharing the costs of paid help for chores cooking and even some in home nursing care. And there should be funding for that in lieu of nursing home care and that would be much cheaper.

        We are re envisioning  the place of institutional care in small rural places.  Maybe there should be more regional facilities focusing on advanced dementia or serving only those who need more intense nursing care.

        Hospice should be an at home or group home  option for more people..people shouldn’t have to got to a nursing home for hospice.

        If we planned and envisoned together, as many are doing now in my community, we can develop viable and readily available options that can allow an alternative to nursing home care, foster more independence and encourage a more normalized social and community life.

        Narthwoods, you are on my wall of heroes that you were able to do that for your grandmother.  I hope many more people will get that little bit of extra help so that that can be  a possibility for more.

  • Anonymous

    Funny how all this big corporate fenagling is being done by First Atlantic…soley.  This sounds like a conflict of interest if you ask me.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately the State IS IN the nursing homes business. In the 70’s the Nuns went out the back door and the MBAs came in the front ($).  The abuses from that system ($) led to Omnibus which regulated everything under Federal and State guidance. Now the system is reliant on huge capital investment firms who can afford to make pennies a day on the ‘bed rights’ (but desire much, much more). Would it surprise you to know that the typical food budget for 3 meals and snacks is about $3.50 per patient day (PPD) nationally? The lingo has de-personalized the citizens in these homes: ‘beds’ instead of people (‘head in the bed’).  When corporate execs. visit these facilities they are more interested in wallpaper than residents and NEVER eat there (they go out for lunch on their expense account). I worked for one facility that sent a corporate contractor to each facility to make sure new artwork ($) was placed in the proper locations! A resident told her she would like a certain picture nearer to her room and the contractor lady said to mind her own business. These ‘homes’ are a perfect micro-community example of the poor results we get when we trust the capitalists with care ($) for our parents compared to the bureaucratic burden of regulations that pull nursing into documentation at the expense of hands on resident care. Both systems syphon off resources that should be used for care and care related supplies. I say strip away the micro-managing documentation regulations. I say put these facilities back into the hands of the locals.
    I say find a few good Nuns.

    • Anonymous

      I can vouch for the lousy food served in two nursing homes I was in for rehab after an operation.
      My family brought in canned fruit and other foods, and meals from restaurants the whole time I was a patient there. I’m surprised the cost was even $3.50 a day per person.

    • Birchstreetalum.

      Thanks for this observation..this witness..I hadn’t seen it before my post above to patom1 but you and I are pointing to the same issue..is compassion and quality of care even taken into account when allocating these rationed beds..

      and you add a very critical dimension..are the allocations for food, cleaning, furnishing in patient rooms tec. factored into paymets adequate and if so is anyone checking to make sure that every singlepenny allocated for direct patient benefit goes to patients.  A community group working with a local rural nursing home reported that senior management divied up all “cost savings” as bonuses to senior staff. ( not all staff)..where do these “surpluses” come from?

      Thanks again for your excellent post

      • Anonymous

        The corporations that own these facilities frequently lease them to another division of their own corp. for hugh amounts which are then expensed even though they already own (or pay a reduced mortgage on) the facility.  There are also ‘management fees’ which amount to as much as $50,000 a month in the expense column.  Then ‘liability’ which, if self insured (and most are), can be as much as $175,000 a month in the expense column. Doctors are usually paid substantial sums every month (in addition to their medicare & medicaid payments) to refer residents to the facility. There may be as many as 5 ‘medical directors’ for any single facility all receiving hundreds of dollars a month.  As you can see there are very large dollars in this business and most of the “cost savings” bonuses are based on creative financial manipulation rather than good stewardship. The deeper one goes into these financial gymnastics the more obvious it becomes that Mom and Dad get what is trickled down to them rather than first dibs on the money they, their insurance plan or their government (medicare or medicaid) pay.

  • Anonymous

    These recent events have a common thread, they link DHHS, Mary Mahew, Governor LePage, Atlantic Healthcare, southern Maine.

    • Anonymous

      Like all Tea Party govs, he’s being told by the Koch Bros to privatize everything he can.  They love to privatize!

    • hi patom1..what do you know about Atlantic Healthcare?  There seems to be a lot of variation.

      There is one provider in Bagor whose facilities I am very very impressed with, especially there care for people with cognitive disability and advanced demntia.  But iit seems some are just working the ysstem ad working it like a busiess in a pure privatization model while others have and are committed to a care philosophy that is humane and laudable.

      Since beds are “ationed” state wide, I am wondering whether  in granting beds to one company or another there is enough consideration and weight give to these philosophy of care/qulaity of care issues.

      • Anonymous

        Atlantic Healthcare bought the Calais Nursing home 15 years or so ago. Since they have had posetion of that facility they have not put a dime into the maintenance of that building that they didn’t absolutely have to. They took the profits from this facility to build an assisted living facility within 100 feet of the nursing home.

        The big problem seems to be that for some reason the State in their wisdom will only pay for X amount of beds for those who are incapable of paying their own way for nursing care. To my way of thinking this system is unrealistic to say the least.

        First of all there is a growing need for full care nursing beds in Washington County. The demographics in this area are that the number of people over 65 is growing. It is expected to keep on growing until 2028. With that in mind, how can DHHS take 30 plus nursing beds away from Washington County?

        Atlantic Healthcare had a secret meeting with DHHS and claimed that they were not making enough money to keep their Calais facility open. They claimed that because of the decreasing population of Washington County that they had no hope of making a profit. That was an out right lie on their part. They got their approval to move the beds to Ellsworth with another lie that there were plenty of beds available in the Calais area to handle their residents. They said if they couldn’t find any beds that they would take any residents to their new facility in Elllsworth. Which by the way is a full 2 hrs. away.

        Now we apparently have another nursing home that DHHS wishes to give their beds up to another facility in Bucksport. Guess who the recipient is. Atlantic Healthcare.

        The staff at the Calais facility is top notch and very caring. These people are dedicated to giving the best care possible to their residents. But that apparently doesn’t mean anything to Atlantic Healthcare or DHHS.

        • Thank you for this further info on Atlantic Health Care..I also found this article from February underscoring what you say but also showing that huge gap between what we learn through the news and what is really happening.
          http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/24/health/more-questions-than-answers-continue-to-plague-calais-nursing-home/
          what you are really pointing to is the entire flaw in the notion of privatization.

          When we privatize facilities that are going to be almost fully funded with public money ( as is the case with most nursing homes)we are in essence agreeing to guarantee a certain profit level over and above what we would pay otherwise.

          The myth is that the difference in efficiency is so much greater than the profit we are guaranteeing with public funds in “privatization” that straight public or non profit or charitable could not achieve a comparably favorable result.

          I haven’t seen one example of privatization in any sphere where that is true.

          I can’t even imagine what the residents of Calais and Penobscot and their loved one’s are in for as these two facilities close.

          We all must follow, somehow, every single person and tell the story of what happens.

          And each of us is responsible for that..responsible for what actually happens to these folk.

  • Anonymous

    You would think the recent financial crisis would be cause for hesitation when it comes to privatization . What happens when a property is not profitable…move the patients again ? I would hope that healthcare in the 21st century isn’t managed  by bean counters who have one eye on the bottom line.

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