Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Day at The Veterans home, Just Another Illusion.

 Public Beware: Veterans were abused on Thanksgiving Day.
  All those who were there saw an illusion. Read on to know what really was happening.

Guest Editorial.
By W.A.B.
Thanksgiving Day at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
It was a beautiful snowy morning at the Home.  Veterans were up, dressed and for the most part, alert.  Volunteers from as far away as Texas were there to make sure the Veterans joined others across the country in celebration of a holiday designed to give thanks for all the blessings they had received.  What was visible to many were veterans that were happy and treated well.  For the casual observer, the Home and its Staff got an A+.
It is a scene like this which makes me wonder what all the complaining is about.  There is a large coalition of people out there who are investigating the abuse and neglect the veterans are receiving.  So many reports have crossed my desk about unnecessary drugging and neglect, not to mention abuse.  Cases in which veterans are forced to lie in their own excrement for hours on end.  I have reports that indicate that our veterans are being drugged to the point of zombie like behavior.  I'm not naive or stupid.  What was going on?  I asked questions of veterans and their family members.
Well, I guess I wasn't surprised.  It was a Holiday and the home put on a costume of fake behavior.  On this day, November 28, 2013, veterans who were suppose to be given behavior modification medication, were not given it.  On this day, veterans were up, and by all standards, happy.  WHY?  It seems that the Home decided that with all the family members and volunteers, as well as outside service agencies present in the home, it would be best to put their off the wall behavior on hold, for JUST THE DAY. 
One veteran, R. W. went home to be with his family for the day.  He didn't receive his meds that morning.  He wasn't given any meds for the day either.  NONE.  Now, this man requires more than just his behavior modification meds but the Home opted to send nothing home with the veteran.  Fortunately, this is one veteran who doesn't suffer from diabetes or heart related illness.  No meds for these diseases could have been fatal.  I followed up with this veteran the day after and I was told that when he got back to the home Thursday evening, he was given his meds and suddenly became very cold to the point of shivering.  He was given one extra blanket but that didn't help him much.  He couldn't get warm and he was forced to go to sleep shivering with cold.  On Friday morning, this veteran went down to have a cigarette.  Health care workers tracked him down to inform him that he needed to return to the floor for his "drugs" and that failure to do would result in the loss of his electric cart.  When he asked why he wasn't given these drugs on Thursday morning, he was told it was because of it being a holiday.  Doesn't that speak volumes.
Another veteran, J.S.  His son was able to spend some good quality time with him on Thanksgiving.  His father, a man who is so drugged and can't get out of bed, was up and talking.  I was told he even had a sense of humor and was making jokes.  This is a man who usually lays in bed and tells his son that he can't get up because they have him so drugged that all he can do is sleep.  Well, it being Thanksgiving Day, he can be somewhat normal and happy.  Right??
Another veteran who is scared to death of retaliation from the Home requires a great deal of help for everyday functions.  I have seen other veterans helping him as well as many different volunteers.  It can't be substantiated but he has indicated that the care givers are not so willing to help him when he needs it.  I guess I am not surprised by this either.
I have had the opportunity to read several minutes from the past Board of Managers meetings.  In there, I see that there was a visit by members of our state's legislature.  Apparently, they were given a tour and they saw nothing wrong, no abuse or neglect.  Did they take the time to talk with any veterans?  Did they ask to talk?  Did they see the Courtyard where veterans who are "naughty" are forced to be?  Was the tour so rigid that they were only shown the classic model veterans who had no choice but to be happy at the Home?  What would happen if these same members came, unannounced, and randomly talked with different veterans?  I know I could direct them to many, MANY, who are unhappy, victims of forced drugging, neglect and abuse.  If you are reading this and want to know the names, I would be happy to give them to you.  All you have to do is ask for them.  Of course, Sara Dunne isn't going to allow you to talk with these veterans.  You might have to do it without her blessings or permission.  That would take courage.  Who out there has it?
Thanksgiving Day at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans was a joke.  It was a farce.  Just another smokescreen like the care giver situation.  For most of one day, the Veterans were able to be human again.  I am sure the same will happen on Christmas.  Oh happy happy joy joy.

On a note of sadness, Rodney from Rankin 1 unit, passed away on Thanksgiving Day.  He is at peace and flying his jet over the streets of gold in heaven.  Rest in peace Rodney.  My sympathies to your family, your loved ones and to all the veterans at the home who loved, admired and respected you.

Ed note: Apparently all the phony niceness was an illusion and propaganda, a tool the administration uses to get everybody to believe that all is well at the home.
Good points in this posting. And we appreciate getting these extra posts from folks outside the home, who want to voice their opinions here. Now if only we could get some of the staff to respond. 

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