The people working at the local skilled nursing facilities go above and beyond to provide compassionate nursing care to a population of patients in great need (“Immediate Jeopardy,” June 4).
My father was a patient at Eureka Healthcare in 2006, a time period covered by the current lawsuit. It was overcrowded (he was placed in a room with three other men where there was not even room to pull up a chair) and noisy, and populations were mixed without regard for their ailments or mental conditions. Staff could not keep up with the constant ringing of call bells. They tried. They were heroic, caring and careful with patients. But it was overwhelming. I described it as being like Bedlam ... without the French.
In my opinion Eureka Healthcare is a better facility today than the overcrowded, chaotic place it was back then. Today there seem to be less patients and a higher caregiver-to-patient ratio. The problem has never been the people who work at the five local skilled nursing facilities but the ownership of all five by the same corporation. I have been in fantastic skilled nursing homes in Southern California. It can be done, and the fees are paid by insurance. Medicare and Medi-Cal seem ample to cover the cost of care.
I’m glad things have improved at Eureka Healthcare, but I wonder if having a single for profit company running the skilled nursing business in our area is a good idea. I want to see a nonprofit skilled nursing option for our area and I would like to work on the idea with other people. I believe having a nonprofit choice would help the corporate run facilities continue to be good places for both the staff and the patients.
JoAnn Schuch, Arcata
Sweet Spot:* JoAnn Schuch wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.*