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Change Needed

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Editor:

Kudos to Linda Stansberry on her in-depth reporting on the skilled nursing facilities. The first article, several weeks ago, was a horror story about that poor lady who was suffering at he hands of supposed "caregivers" ("The Death of Jeanie Newstrom," Aug. 4). She was failing and covered with bedsores, which were covered up with gauze and wrapped up to hide them. That was a criminal act, and the people at that facility should be held accountable.

I am a nurse, and I know that patients who are debilitated and unable to move freely by themselves need to be turned every two hours and placed on faux sheep skin or something soft, or they will develop bedsores. A bedsore starts as a spot rubbed raw on a pressure point and, if not cared for, will develop into a crater-like hole. Horrible and painful, they can get infected. When this lady was finally transferred, the people handling her could smell them. Patients in these facilities are at the mercy of the people who work there. Each facility should have an ombudsman to speak up for them and communicate with family members. Where were they? These patients rarely get a visit from a doctor.

There are some caregivers who are conscientious and caring, but not nearly enough. Training is all important. Let us hope that things will change in our county, which will have to start at the top, with management.

Inez Wallace, Eureka


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