Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mercy vs Elks

I have been thinking these past few days what the pros and cons of each place might be. They are both very different and we had very different experiences at each place. During one of the first nights at Elks, my dad and Mindy were told that a lot of people seek out Elks as a rehab place. A lot of people across the country will find themselves there. My dad just laughed because he was told that Mercy General was one of the best rehab places around. Yeah right!! The nurse also told them that they tend to have a lot of football players from all over there for therapy and that quite a few patients come from Santa Barbara. I just thought that I would share what I have observed:

Mercy General
- the therapists were very nice. We liked all of them for the most part. We never had a lot of interaction with the OT but the others were nice. I look back and think about how limited they are. How they really do not have a lot of access to great things like a rec therapist to add in that little bit of fun or rooms set up to adequately do all of their job.

- they don't question eating dinner in your room with family. They highly encouraged eating meals with family. They go as far as to supply a buffet dinner for family members. The food was straight from the cafeteria and so gross but the thought was there. Eating with family is part of the theuraputic experience.

- once you get to know them, they let you do pretty much anything that you want. We were able to scout out empty rooms at get the better chairs.

- they had better chairs for the rooms. They had nice high backs for long moments of sitting. It was nice

-they did their best with the mom that first checked in there. the mom that checked into Elks was much different. My mom was still very sleepy and it took two PT to just hold her up. Within the week that I was there, they made great improvements with my mom.

-the nurses were overall pretty nice. never around but nice.

-the poor speech therapists didn't really have a nice place to go for speech. They converted an actual patient room into a speech/assisted eating room. They put shelves on top of the toilet and made it into a closet.

-the shower is more of a community shower. As Noelle learned, they draped a sheet over my mom and wheeled her down to the shower. Oh yeah!

-the rooms are pretty small and outdated. Not much room to go anywhere. My mom was not even able to get her wheelchair to the sink if she even wanted to. She also was not able to get it to the bathroom if she wanted to. The bathroom was literally a toilet with a bifoldy type door if that is what you call it.

-the poor nurses were always so understaffed and busy. When we needed help they arrived like 20 minutes later. Thankfully my dad and I were ambitious and willing.

-much of the staff and the doctors were English as second language people. Holy cow! I swear. Obviously they are compotent because they had the jobs that they had but boy did it get frustrating sometimes. From the very beginning, we typically had an asian doctor. Makes things a little irritating.

- the parking sucks. We discovered that you can get validation to park in the parking garage thank goodness but it was still annoying.

-the cafeteria food is really not that good and sooo expensive.

- the place feels really disorganized. the dining room is a mess. there are all sorts of random things in there and it is pretty cramped.

Elks Rehab Hospital
-my dad finally had to tell them that my mom was going to have dinner in her room with family if we were there, which was always going to happen. She was getting so lonely eating alone and the dining room did not allow outside people in there because it may interrupt or disrupt others therapy experience. Understandable but irritating.

- the place is very clean overall. You will not find random things lining the dining rooms or the hallways. the dining room is really spacious and open with about 8 round tables and chairs. At the corner table you find a large puzzle in progress.

- the rooms are really spacious and the ceilings are nice and high. there is room to get a wheelchair anywhere in the room. my mom is able to get up to the sink everyday and the bathroom. She is able to use the normal toilet and they have a shower in there! a big plus!

-the nursing staff is really nice and answers the nurse call lights pretty fast. they always keep the rooms clean and picked up. there was one morning nurse that my mom apparently did not like. nobody knows who she was and why.

- the food is pretty darn good here. they have a great cafeteria on the top floor with good food and really great prices. today I had a really yummy rosemary salmon (big piece) and side green salad for $4.50. It was really yummy. the people up there are also very nice. The cashier guy gives me a discount almost every time.

-they have a rec therapist. one of the funnest jobs and my mom has really enjoyed everything that she has done with Christine thus far. She brings therapy fun with her every time and my mom loves it. it also brings another hour of therapy to her day.

-the therapists have been sooo nice. they jumped right on things...wasting no time. granted they are with a different, more alert mom.

- in our home town of course! Close to caring sisters and close to our homes! what more could you ask for.

- great therapy spaces. the space for the OT's is amazing. They have a space just for them. the Speech Pathologist usually just uses the dining room. the PT's have so much there for them. A lot of the same things as Mercy but there are lots of people doing therapy with therapists at the same time that it makes for great people watching.
- they have a place where RV's park for those coming from out of town.
- some patients have their dogs with them and no they are not therapy dogs. I later learned from my sisters that Burn the golden retriever is just a personal pet and not therapy dog. Explains his craziness. Another lady has this little chihuahua thing.
- they specifically have a stroke program. things are geared just for them.

1 clever remarks:

mandbrid said...

Elks sounds like such a nice place...I'm glad your mom is being taken care of so well.