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Another involuntary discharge

November 6, 2017
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As many readers may remember, I was involuntarily discharged from my first facility in 2010. I wrote about it here. Unfortunately, I was involuntary discharged again from my second facility at the end of August.

I had been there for almost seven years, but I had difficulties with my power wheelchair, which was new last year. It took months to get the joystick in the right position. In the interim, I had some accidents because of the chair's quirkiness.

The facility's discharge letter said I was a danger to residents and others. They felt the power chair accidents were intentional and that I was trying to hit residents. I was not trying to hurt anyone. The jerkiness of the joystick made it difficult to control.

There was a hearing. I was unable to refute the facility's claims, and the decision was made in the facility's favor.

I worked with my second facility's nurse manager to move to a more conventional nursing home in a small nearby community.

Preparing for the move was difficult with no family nearby to assist. The facility staff said they would move me, which I appreciated. When one truck pulled up, I saw items I had asked my second facility to dispose of. Perhaps the facility had to keep them. Since I thought they were long gone, I donated them to a thrift shop.

I am getting to know the third facility's staff, residents and their family members. I am hopeful I can get a clean start despite my background of involuntary discharges.

I have always been a strong advocate for quality care and residents' rights. My advocacy labeled me at both facilities. I just wanted things to be better, and some changes I suggested actually occurred at both nursing homes.

I have managed to stay busy and involved using my computer. My "window on the world" allows me to read, write and stay in contact with others.

Maybe in the future, involuntary discharges will no longer be necessary. Perhaps an objective government entity could assist misfit residents to solve their difficulties and assist with solutions. Then, if a resident relocation is deemed necessary, a more cooperative arrangement could be worked out. A less traumatic transition would be a major step in helping residents to thrive in a new environment.

Kathleen Mears

@KathleenLMears1

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is...

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