My father was housed at Avante for 7 weeks while my mom was in the hospital fighting for her life. He is an Alzheimer's patient. He came to be at Avante due to the respite program at the VA hospital in Salem. The VA is doing remodeling where respite care is normally done, so they were outsourcing respite and everywhere in Roanoke or Salem was full. Being an Alzheimer's patient and not being able to talk much for himself anymore, I was very hesitant to take him an hour away from us in Roanoke, but with my mom on a ventilator and dad needing full time care, we had no choice.
I was leery leaving him there, due to the fact that the room he was in seemed very run down and the ac/heating unit didn't seem to be working. I left him with a huge suitcase of clothes with everything labeled with his name, even his socks. I was assured that the room issue with the ac would be addressed and that since we were so far away and were only able to visit on weekends, that they would make sure his clothes were laundered.
My dad had previously been in a rehab last year here in Roanoke, and we were blessed by having a great facility. Avante is NOT THAT. 90% of the time when i called to check on him, no one answered the phone at the facility. It took hours to get a return call from anyone. When we came on weekends to see him, he was usually in his bed in a diaper or in a gerry chair with a gown on. Several times he had someone else's clothes on. Having no choice, we had to pay, 210$ a day for 3 weeks after his 30 day respite with the VA was up. I paid that facility almost FIVE thousand dollars. Finally, we were able to get dad transferred to Friendship Manor here in Roanoke. The staff at Avante knew a week in advance, and I had spoken to the social worker as well as several other staff about his discharge. I asked to PLEASE have his clothes together. They were labeled and should be easy to find. I expressed my displeasure that everytime I came to see him, he had on no clothes of his own, or someone else's. They had a WEEK to prepare.
We got to the home that Saturday, my dad was sitting in a chair in a soiled diaper,, a hospital gown and his bedroom shoes. In his closet was ONE tshirt hanging. I immediately contacted a nurse on the floor, who was new. She found the charge nurse, who was extremely rude and said she didn't know he was leaving until an hour before. I explained that was not MY fault, I wanted his belongings. She said "i guess i'll have to go to the laundry" After that, she came back with 2 pair of pj pants and one pair of sweatpants and 2 shirts. He was brought to that facility with at least 12 pairs of sweat pants, 10 pairs of pj pants, 20 pairs of socks, and about 25 tshirts. I was assured by the charge nurse that his belongings would be shipped to me, then by the social worker that he would bring them to me personally in Roanoke. To this day, 3 months later, my dad has now passed. Avante still has at least $400 worth of his clothing and I never heard another word about it, despite numerous phone calls. They even keep sending me a bill for 210$ for a day that was missed somehow. That bill will not be paid, I should be billing THEM for the clothes they lost.
The new nurse that helped me on his day of discharge even told me I needed to report this facility. The rooms are rundown and dirty. The food was disgusting. NO effort was made to get my father into any social activities, he was left in his room most of the time sitting in a soiled diaper. The place doesnt answer the phone or return calls. The staff is for the most part rude and act as if you are putting them out if you ask to have your loved one changed so they are not sitting in filth. I wouldn't send my dog here to be cared for. I HATE that i had to have my dad stay here due to circumstances we were up against. Be very PRESENT if you have a loved one there.
This facility should be your last resort. The smell alone will help you decide if this place is for your loved ones. Under staffed and very unhealthy conditions. This place needs to be remodeled or closed down by the board of health. Unbelievable ancient decor and medical equipment. The owners must be smiling all the way to the bank. They fail to provide adequate care for their patients and probably hasn't purchased new bedding or draperies since the facility opened. They have some staff members who go above and beyond to accommodate the patients and families. The others need to find a new line of work. Caring for the sick takes special people with soft skills. Either you've got them or you don't.
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