We have an ongoing experience with Westminster Village Nursing Home. This review applies only to the Nursing Home section and the Not Assisted Living section. This experience dates back to 2003 as you will see the history below.
Westminster Village Nursing Home repeatedly neglected and injured my Mom. We could not move Mom to a better nursing home since moving could have damaged her mentally.
My question to Westminster was and still is...:"If you loved and cared for your family member, would you find the repeated incidents below as acceptable?" If you do not find it acceptable, then why would you allow this to happen to my Mom?
We paid, our money, to Westminster for all but approximately 4 months of the 7.5 years that Mom was there. We used Medicaid only for those approximately 4 months. Our cash payments began at about $4,500 per month and ended at about $7,500 per month, plus medications, services, etc.
Updated Information – 2016: A Medical Review Panel founded unanimously that Westminster Village North violated healthcare standards that I describe below. This Medical Review Panel included a represented selected by us and by Westminster Village North as well as an independent member. All found Westminster Village North guilty of failing to provide proper and safe care.
Updated Information - April 3, 2014: Through a complaint process with multiple Indiana State Agencies, Westminster displays their continued deception. They continue to deny their neglect and mistreatment of my Mom as shown below. Perhaps the Assisted Living Section here is fine, since that is where people commit (financially) to long term care at Westminster. Our experience below was with the Nursing Home of Westminster Village North. Future updates will follow.
New Information - March 3, 2013: Recently, 3 people have told me of their stories of neglect and improper treatment. All 3 moved their family members from Westminster. It appears incidents such as these described below continue.
Also, in a report by the Indiana State Department of Health, the Westminster response was a complete lie regarding the details of them dropping my Mom resulting in the shattering of her femur. This required a 7 inch rod to be inserted into my Mom's hip. The lies contradict the staff's account of the incident. The report was signed by Stephanie James, Healthcare Administrator. I also discussed all of my concerns over the 7 - 8 years to her and to Shelley Rauch, Executive Director of Westminster. I HAVE ALL OF THIS DOCUMENTED IN E-MAILS, LETTERS AND PHOTOS.
Please read the investigation by the Indianapolis Star titled "Nursing Homes Dodge Scrutiny." It reports the findings of Greg Zoeller, Indiana State Attorney General. Interesting to note this statement by Greg Zoeller..."The (Health Facilities Administrators) board writes the licensing rules for nursing home administrators, and the board acts as judge and jury to decide whether or not those rules were violated,". It should be noted that Shelley Rauch, Executive Director of Westminster is the Chairwoman of that board...Conflict of interest here? Maybe this is why they refuse to correct problems.
Original Review: Without hesitation, I would classify this a disaster. I state this since we encountered Repeated and CONTINUOUS problems with safety, health and sanitation/cleanliness at Westminster. This occurred the entire time Mom was at Westminster.
Advertisements from Westminster state the safety and caring for their residents. We experienced the opposite. We paid Mom’s rent every month to Westminster so Mom would stay in her same room and not in be a Medicaid room. We did not move Mom as the move to a different room/facility/environment/ could have damaged her mentally due to her Parkinson's Disease. This was discussed with her Neurologist. Over a 7.5 year period, we paid monthly from 2002 through 2010. So we paid a lot of money and received the following problems. NOTE: We used a discounted Medicaid room for only a few months. We paid several hundred thousand dollars over our approximate 7.5 years here...
The following examples of Neglect and Lack of Safety began in 2003 and continued until we moved Mom in October 2010. This is only a sample of the problems we encountered. The Indiana State Board of Health and the Indiana Attorney General have recently opened investigations into Westminster Village North regarding these problems. I will be starting a web site to show additional info on these following problems. This will include the history of E-mails and Letters to Westminster Village North’s Executive Director, to the Health Center Administrator and to several nurses. This web site will display the E-mail exchanges between the Westminster Staff and myself. It will show the continuous problems and the lack of care and correction of them. It will also include photos of my Mom’s condition and of the Wall Signs that I posted. The Wall Signs were to urge the staff to follow simple and common sense requests such as placing the Nurse Call Button within reach of Mom vs it being under her bed or attached to the wall.
These problems occurred over most of Mom’s time at Westminster. I asked staff repeatedly for action and rarely received it. I asked in a patient, courteous and respectful manner without raising my voice or swearing. I visited Mom all but 5 days per year for 7.5 years. Mom rarely complained and was happy through the day she died. So I saw the activity here is as it actually happened.
In brief, here is our experience with Westminster Village North. Notice that even to the last day we were at Westminster, they still demonstrated unwillingness and incapability to provide minimum care and safety:
1. September 2010: This is what ended Mom’s life and was preventable. Since the staff Repeatedly left Mom in bed in her urine and feces, she developed a skin tear on her leg that became infected. I complained repeatedly and posted large wall signs requesting she go to the restroom. The skin tear became a hole in her leg that grew to the size of a tennis ball. Mom was about 5 feet tall and weighed about 78lbs. The entire Westminster Staff, including the Wound Specialist, stated that “nothing could be done to correct it and could only treat it from becoming worse.” It became much worse. When a NEW Wound Specialist arrived, within 60 seconds of her seeing Mom’s wound, she asked me if we wanted to correct this wound. Short version: There was a simple treatment to remove the infected tissue and infected bone, along with using antibiotics, to Reverse this problem and to HEAL this wound. There was no pain to Mom from this procedure. We moved Mom to the hospital where the leg Did heal. However, due to the level of antibiotics Mom had endured over the last 3 months (see point #2), her kidneys could not endure and she died.
2. August 2010: Continuing with the point on the antibiotics. Westminster Failed Twice to notice Mom’s Infections, Severe Dehydration and Pneumonia. I took Mom to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist for a swallowing problem. He immediately told me that before he does anything, I should place Mom in a hospital THAT DAY for IV fluids as she is very dehydrated, has rapid breathing and an elevated heart rate. Westminster noticed None of this. Community North Hospital stated she had Pneumonia, was severely dehydrated, had a urinary tract infection and a bladder infection and should have been on oxygen.
3. July 2010: Staff dropped or “improperly transferred” Mom. When I arrived that morning, Mom complained that she hurt very badly. I told the staff and they said “it was just the strain from her being improperly transferred and was not a leg break.” I expressed my concern as Mom rarely complains about pain or anything. They said they would monitor her condition. Again one of few times she ever complained about anything in 8 years here. The following day when visiting the dentist, she moaned continuously. I then noticed that her leg hung very oddly. At 11:00am, I Demanded that Westminster x-ray her. At 9:15PM, Westminster called to tell me Mom was being sent to Community North Emergency as the x-ray showed her leg was broken. The surgeon stated that “her Femur was shattered and splattered.” So for nearly 2 DAYS, Mom endured the Pain of a Broken FEMUR with no pain medicine. And it Required ME, the family member (Not the Westminster Staff) to NOTICE the Broken Leg and then ME to ORDER the x-ray.
4. Mom’s call button repeatedly not near her. So no way to alert staff to emergency or for need to use restroom. I requested this approximately 100+ times over these 7.5 years.
5. Mom’s Blood Oxygen Levels were always low. The ambulance staff and the hospital staff asked me why Westminster did not have her on oxygen. When Mom was on continuous oxygen the last 2 months of her life in the hospital, her mental and physical health hugely improved. This also corrected her swallowing problem.
6. On 3 occasions, Staff did not inform me of Mom’s weight loss until it dropped to 67lbs. Staff then said her lack of appetite means End Stage Parkinson’s and that we should discontinue treating Mom and let her die on her own. REALITY: Mom did not like the food. We changed the food and she ate fine and regained her weight. This happened at least 3 times over the last 2 years.
7. In 2003, a male resident repeatedly entered Mom’s room and touched her. He would also approach her when she was out of her room. I strongly complained. The Westminster Staff DEFENDED him by stating that “he has a right to move freely in the Westminster facility.” I replied that my Mom has a right to safety and protection, especially from a mentally unstable male who enters her room after he has repeatedly been told to stay away from Mom. Westminster’s solution was to place obnoxious Barriers on My MOM’s doorway to keep him from entering. So nothing was done to correct the male resident’s dangerous behavior. He removed the barriers and entered anyway. Finally, I had to raise my voice to him and aggressively move toward him to scare him from returning.
I am still amazed at the amount of time and activity I had to invest to keep my Mom safe. Every problem to this staff was treated as a simple error that an internal paper report would correct. Then it was Forgotten! THERE WAS NO SINCERE CONCERN TO THE PAIN AND INJURY TO THE RESIDENT. If there were, they would have CORRECTED these REPEATED PROBLEMS. And of course I was given the rehearsed line of how much they care and how they will improve. It NEVER happened. Even on the last day we were there, Mom had a fever and infections. When I would point to Mom's clothes that were wet with perspiration and her fever, they merely gave her Tylenol, which was their solution for every problem. No one checked to Determine the Cause of her perspiration and fever. And she only weighed 75lbs so it was not due to body size.
This further shows the insincerity and lack of care. Upon Mom's passing, No one from Westminster sent any condolences. No flowers, phone call or even a card. Since we were no long paying them a check for ~$7,500 per month, we were non-existent. This was Before I had posted the negative reviews and filed the complaints with the ISDH and the Indiana Attorney General.
I hope the above information is helpful in making the decision toward a nursing home.
My 92 year old loved one developed bed sores and a unrinary tract infection while staying at Westminster rehab. Oh yes, the staff is very friendly, but they are very negligent in tending to patients. My visits routinely lasted 3/4 hours. In that time, often no one would come an check on her my loved one, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD PRESSED THE BUTTON requesting assistance. They are seriously understaffed. There was always some pitiful excuse for not having performed their responsibilities. It was not at all uncommon that I was the one assisting one of the aids in tending to my loved one.
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