Friday, March 4, 2011

Will you still keep me will you still feed me when im 64

Would you let your loved one Stay
In this Old House or Hotel?
Assisted Living and Nursing Homes in Pa.

As I have hit the big 50 one starts to wonder about how they are going to be spending there so called Golden Years I hope to god I will be able to live healthy and independently well into my 90’s .
For what I fear is not Death but being placed in one of the Dungeons they call Assisted Living and Nursing Homes.
While many are in older structures with no sprinklers. They are very well maintained and kept updated to codes and I would not have a problem living in them . There are way too many that are not and are nothing more than deathtraps and dungeons. Many serve the mentally Ill Community such as those with Bi Polar where some residents are capable of holding a small job and for most part just need minor supervision to those who never leave the facility and need more attention.
When you walk into and check out facility’s it seems the further out in the country you go
The worse the facility’s get but not always .But it seems to sadly be the case.
Since they are out in rural areas they do not get the attention from inspectors they do when they are within Allegheny County which also has one of the most Strict Health Code Rules in the country.
In homes outside Allegheny County which often times are old boarding homes or hotels I have found them with no hood suppression system of any kind in the kitchen area often times the hoods and vents are improperly designed and this goes for Hot Water and Heating Equiptment Plants as well which are spewing back Carbon Monoxide at times of heavy use. No K- Rated extinguishers in Kitchen
No automatic back up generator or Emergency Battery Lighting or even lighted exits.
Power goes out the aide has to run for candles and flashlights and go to the shed to get the portable generator out and fired up.
The electrical Wiring is old frayed and has every type of wiring code violation to it. Fire doors are non existent or improperly fitting .Gas piping and furnaces ,heaters are improperly installed
Floor drains and plumbing is backed up or slow because of barnacle buildup in pipes or poorly working septic systems.
Falling plaster peeling paint on walls lifted and busted or missing floor tiles. Fire Alarm systems are a mismatch of old and new technology poorly installed and maintained.
Many of these old Boarding Homes and hotels were sold and gotten rid of in the first place because they were no longer cost effective to maintain and make a profit .
But when you have a captive audience with no choice you can get away with anything.
Take the old House that was built in 1830’s that was rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad that helped hide slaves. It was added onto several times and became a roaring 20‘s Gin -Joint Hotel then during the depression it was turned into a Tuberculosis Sanitarium serving as a hospital into the 60’s when it became an Assisted Living facility. With aprox 55 residents.
Nothing in the old hospital was updated it was cleaned out and new residents were brought in as State Mental hospitals such as Woodville, Dixmont and others closed down or were downsized Like Mayview and Polk .It was seen as more humane to the mentally ill to put them into the assisted living homes program than leave them in the state run Dungeons. Unfortunately in many cases across the country there have been tragic results like in Missouri where 20 residents died in a fire now believed to have been started when a handyman tried to short circuit some old poorly wired wiring in the attic to determine what breaker it was on. But back to
This sanitarium that had to meet the new Pa. State Codes passed last year so they had to update the fire alarm of course it was not done correctly. They left in place a 20’s era Faraday AC Only unsupervised Fire Alarm and added a system beside it a couple of smokes and a horn on each floor so if the smokes do activate only the one horn on each floor activates and aide has to run out into the hall and activate the old system so residents know to evacuate. This system should never had been approved and passed by state inspectors yet it was. What should have happened is the old system should have been removed and new pull stations and strobe horns along with smoke detectors installed. But this was not the case. There was a suspended ceiling put below old ceiling and when lights were brought down and rewired it was done without proper boxes and fittings and wiring. Outlets were added improperly everywhere. The 120 volt daisy chain smokes are over 15 years old in patient rooms and need removed and replaced with proper wired in smokes with local sounders this was not done as well .In fact most homes do not even have there fire alarms tied into a monitoring station only if you have 10 or more immobile residents do you have to have your fire alarm monitored you read that right ! Paper exit signs no emergency lighting is also fact and still permitted under the new state code.
If this home was in Allegheny County it would be shut down and closed and the owners would be facing criminal charges for neglect . But because it is in a Rural County nothing will ever be done . Some day you will here again about a terrible fire in an assisted living or nursing home here in Pa. and know all along it was 100% avoidable.
Until we get quality inspections of all nursing facility’s in Pa. the day the deadly fatal fire will occur is just a matter of when.
Will our legislators’ ever wake up to the fact to the horror’s they have allowed to be created in our Nursing and Assisted caring homes because they pass laws and regulations that did nothing more than create paper work and did nothing to address core infrastructure of the homes. I guess they will find out when they loose a loved one to a terrible fire in one of these homes. Please do not let it happen if you are an AHJ of any type visit local homes properly inspect them demand upgrades where needed.
What happened in Missouri will happen here unless we all get involved. Due your part or have blood on your hands because you chose to do nothing.

Note : 03.03.11 major fire in nursing home in Claysville Pa. Washington county totally destroyed thank god nurses on duty got everyone out. This Time.

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