Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor - 6/25/15

Sub-par care in nursing home

Dear Editor,

In response to the article in the June 18 Sierra Star on the violations for the owner of many nursing homes throughout the state, I can speak from experience having my mother in the Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Centre earlier this year.

I could’t get her out of there fast enough. She fractured her spine and was transferred to the Oakhurst facility after being in a rehab hospital. I will say the Oakhurst facility has an excellent physical therapist, but everything else was sub-par.

Staff would leave her sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time when she had terrific pain in her back. When she would ask to be taken back to her bed, the response was “I’ll be right back,” and they would never return.

Repeatedly asking different staff got the same response. I went to the administrator and told him of the situation and it improved for two days, but then returned to leaving her in a wheelchair for hours.

They inserted a catheter when there was no reason to do so. When I took my mother to a urologist, he said they never should have done that.

Simple care such as teeth brushing were ignored and showers were not given according to state requirements of twice a week.

The response time to requesting help would sometimes be 45 minutes or longer. One day while I was visiting, I timed how long it took for a Certified Nursing Assistant to appear after pressing the call light. After 45 minutes, the maintenance man appeared saying he noticed the call light had been on for some time. He went and got a CNA. Also, numerous items of clothing went missing even though I was doing my mother's laundry.

I could go on and on. After a month of this treatment, I found a good five star nursing home and transferred her to Fresno. The difference in care was night and day. I could finally sleep at night.

I truly felt the administrator of the Oakhurst facility was doing his best to improve the situation, but he was so overwhelmed and grossly understaffed. The owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, made a profit of $62 million for the homes he owned in 2013 according to the Sacramento Bee article. A good portion of that money needs to go back into the homes and increase staffing. We desperately need the Oakhurst nursing home in our community, but it needs to be brought back to the quality facility it once was and give the residence the care and respect they deserve.

Linda Shepler, Ahwahnee

EMAD as hell

Dear Editor,

I would like to expand upon Dr. Bill Atwoods’ recent commentary about Mark Sobel and his disdain for mandatory, (forced) trash collection charges in various areas of Madera County.

I too am outraged that our elected county supervisor, Tom Wheeler, would vote to compel residents that he was elected to represent to this forced trash collection fee.

Why we continue to elect representatives that time after time kick the constituents that put them into office in their heads. Wheeler, in spite of his “town hall meetings,” continues to blow-off the citizens who elected him.

First let me state that for almost six years I was a happy and loyal EMADCO customer. EMADCO came by my property every Tuesday about 11 a.m. I had plenty of time to get up, have a cup of coffee, sit on the deck and watch the squirrels frolic through the trees. Life was good.

Well, then about a year ago EMADCO sent me a notice that they had rearranged their route to make it more convenient for their driver (not a particularly intelligent customer service perspective). EMADCO informed me that I would have to have my cans street side by 7 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. I explained to their personnel that I am retired. I do not get up that early anymore and I cannot put my cans out on Monday evening as the raccoons and skunks will most certainly tip them over and make quite a mess. They were not the least bit sympathetic and dismissed my comments so I fired them.

After I fired EMADCO, I learned to take my trash to the North Fork transfer station. Now I take my trash, three cans full, about every six-to-eight weeks, for $5. I save about $17.50 per month. I not only save money, I make money as I now turn in my CRV plastics at the recycle station in the Enterprise Zone. I usually get between $10 and $12 every six-to-eight weeks.

Sorry EMADCO, but the free enterprise system and the free choice available to a democratic citizenry is being undermined by our elected representative. I am EMAD as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.

I will not be forcibly charged for a service which I choose an available less costly option for myself. If you would like to see just how far I will push back against this absurd compulsion, bring it on baby.

Eric N. Loos, Oakhurst

Wonderful community

Dear Editor,

As you know, our son Oliver and his friend Breeaunna Lewis were in a car accident on their way home from Sober Grad on Saturday morning, June 6. Both are doing well.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank this wonderful mountain community for all their prayers, cards, visits, meals, and endless support through this difficult ordeal.

We also want to thank our hero Gerrit Pock, who avoided hitting Oliver head-on, and called 911, and the CHP, and Sierra Ambulance.

We are blessed for having all of you in our lives. Thanks so very much.

Tim and Sarah Curley, Oakhurst