Monday, May 2, 2016

New Idea, same problem, but no real solution?

After talking with several people in Lansing, it has come to be my own opinion, that the only real solution to the lack of enough properly trained caregivers, will be to reduce the population at the Vets home and open another smaller one on the east side of the state so that healthcare workers can be drawn from that area to provide services to the vets home to be built there.

Currently Michigans 2 Vets homes draw on qualified people from the 2 metro areas they are in, which means there will be a limit to the number of qualified people available, due to the fact that the home has to compete for these people with private nursing homes, and retirement communities.

Research of some of the other 49 states show that dispersing the veteran population into smaller homes, gives the veterans a higher standard of quality care. Better food services, better administration and better health care.

Warehousing them into one big facility may have worked in the past, when veterans themselves helped to maintain the buildings, and grounds, and kitchens, but that is no longer the standard. Todays standard is the fact that even qualified vets in the Dorm unit who could help out, are not allowed to, except for minor jobs such as sweeping up the outside side walks, or pushing a cart of material from one place to another. These vets are not allowed to help maintain the grounds or do other such kind of labor which would benefit them and the home.

The current proposal from Lansing is to have 3 care giver services working at the home, with each one assigned to various units. For example, one would specialize in providing care for people in the lock down units such as the Alzheimer units, and court yard.  Another would be responsible for nursing units in the McLiesh building and Rankin 1.  And a 3rd would be responsible for the nursing units in the Mann building. Ranking 2 and 3, which is the Dorm unit would continue to have a state employed nurse (probably Cathy) and one other to be assigned to a 2nd shift position, as there is no need for care givers to be on that unit.

That might be a good idea, removing some of the responsibility from J2S, but it does not address the problem of lack of the number of available qualified employees to draw from, from the Greater Grand Rapids and Kent county areas.  Only reducing the population and thus the need for greater numbers of qualified employees, would address that problem, thus the need to open a 3rd home on the east side of the state near the Detroit Metro area. 

One glaring fact remains: The veterans homes have been Underfunded for too long. The home in Grand Rapids needs a budget twice as big as the current one to make up for short falls from previous years, so that badly needed maintenance can be completed, food service and living conditions improved. 

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