Family/Aging

Dispatch From the Nursing Home

The American healthcare system has entered its Soviet Russia phase.

Bev Potter
4 min readNov 22, 2023

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Photo by Gert Stockmans on Unsplash

I mean, it’s my own fault. I looked at the websites, and I read the reviews, and a little piece of me actually believed that my mom would be comfortable and cared for. That the facility would be bright and sunny and welcoming. That I could still have a life and a job and maybe get some sleep after our two-week sojourn at the hospital, where it took two days of asking to get a wash cloth.

I believed the press that “Life Care Centers of America in Medina, Ohio, has been named the 13th best nursing home in Ohio by People Magazine!” (An aide at the hospital told me not to believe the People Magazine bullshit because they use metrics that have nothing to do with a patient’s actual experience. But it was too late.)

Yes, I’m an idiot.

But stress does that to you, and I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. (Yeah, like that’s going to happen.)

The first thing the home’s marketing director did was pull a bait n’ switch on me as to which room we were getting. (Spoiler alert: NOT the big airy one she showed me with a desk and the TV that was positioned where a normal person with two eyes, give or take, could actually see it. She actually had the balls to tell me “This will be her room.”)

No, we got the much smaller model — the Interstate Motel Room Circa 1972 model — which, honestly, I’m not even complaining about.

There’s no desk, but I’d never find time to get any work done anyway because my mom needs constant care. Care that I’m providing, because guess what? Nobody wants to wipe old people’s asses for a barely-minimum-wage living.

Huh.

So it’s on me to wipe said ass since she has chronic diarrhea that no one’s made any attempt to address. Certainly not the doctor who swoops in for three minutes once a week and runs away after I voice my list of concerns using medical terminology that proves I’m not stupid and this isn’t my first time in a medical setting.

They don’t like people who aren’t stupid. They don’t like questions.

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Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is bevpotter.substack.com