Editorial: Change is long overdue at Valley Meadows | RecordCourier.com

Editorial: Change is long overdue at Valley Meadows

by staff

No matter what you call it – Cottonwood Care or Valley Meadows Living Center – the Gardnerville Ranchos nursing home is becoming synonymous with substandard care.

No matter who owns it – Carson-Tahoe Hospital, Premier Care or Multi-Care Management – the facility seems to defy management.

Once again, the nursing home is the subject of a state investigation. Health investigators are considering a ban on Medicare admissions if Valley Meadows can’t clean up its act.

The acting supervisor – the former director just resigned – insists that it’s business as usual at the 125-bed center.

Maybe, that’s the problem. Business as usual at Valley Meadows Living Center seems to mean substandard care of Douglas County’s most vulnerable citizens.

According to state investigators, business as usual means patients aren’t always bathed. It means they may wait in their rooms for hours to be fed. It means they are at risk because of inadequate care.

Details of a 122-page report issued by the state are revolting; residents who can’t care for themselves are forced to lie in their own waste because there is nobody available to tend to their needs. Employees are run ragged in very demanding jobs because there aren’t enough of them.

Picture yourself – or someone you love – living under these conditions. You have to wonder why it’s allowed to continue and takes so long to correct.

National demographics indicate that Douglas County is now home to a rapidly increasing percentage of senior citizens. Valley Meadows was the first, large-scale nursing home in Carson Valley available to an aging population. It’s always been the place which accepted all patients – regardless of ability to pay.

That doesn’t mean its residents deserve a lower quality of care.