While caring for my uncle the five years until he passed away in January 2018, I became aware of many issues that greatly affect the quality of life for older adults in long-term care. My uncle did not have a peaceful passing due to the poor care and lack of communication with the healthcare providers and the nursing home and hospital. For months after his passing, I carried much guilt! The words: “I FAILED HIM!” were imprinted in my mind. So many times, I thought, I should have done more! I started a Facebook Page called Elderly Advocates, and I found out my story was sadly, the story of many, perhaps it’s even your loved one’s story.
On the Facebook page, I learned that many had gone through the same things my uncle and I did. Many people were frustrated and angry with the poor care and neglect their loved one received. Many of us had made complaints to the long-term care facilityn hoping that problems in care would be corrected. Many times, we would complain of the same problems for weeks or even months, while our loved ones’ condition deteriorated. We followed the next step in filing a complaint with the Ohio Department of Health, only to get a response that our complaint(s) were unsubstantiated.
The care for our loved ones within the long-term care facilities really is NOT the care they deserve. It is clear that there are numerous reasons for this; however, poor care for ANY reason is cause for concern! It is completely unacceptable!
-Paula Mueller, Founder & President
Uncle Bill was a dedicated Boy Scout leader in Johnstown, Pa for over twenty years. He prided himself in teaching scouts how to hike, camp and fish. He was also a member of the Sierra Club. In younger years, Bill was proud to work at Yosemite National Park putting out the fires the campers left behind. He loved to tell the stories of climbing Mt. Whitney, hiking through the Grand Canyon and fighting off bears when they tried to steal the food from his campsite.
Bill also wrote and was very proud of an unpublished book called Step by Step. He wanted to show how easy it was to learn to hike and camp. Bill was also a very loyal member of Memorial Baptist Church in which his elders were one of the original founders. He also was their dedicated Janitor for over twenty years. On 10-11-12 Bill came to Ohio to write the last chapters of his life.
Bill enjoyed and cherished the close bond he and his sister Louetta had, went to the casinos, played Bingo, enjoyed many restaurants and having so much family surround him with good times. Bill wanted everyone to remember that he did some pretty amazing things, cared for the welfare of others always in spite of the handicap challenges he had. Taking it step by step, anything was possible. One of his famous stories was "Thirty Days Under God". To work at Yosemite National Park, he hitchhiked across the United States from Ohio with a sign that said California. He only took $100. He camped out in his sleeping bag, others that gave him a ride took him to their home for dinner, and he stopped at many churches to hear the sermon and message from God as to how to get there. He was proud of this accomplishment. Now, Bill will have all his days under God whom he followed faithfully.