Tuesday, December 16, 2014


The director at Spanish Meadows nursing home told me the last time they had an open bed was 10 months ago,  When you see the place you know why people will wait that long to get into Spanish Meadows.  The place I chose for my brother cannot give me any time frame for how long it will take for a bed to become available.  He will remain in east Texas until such time as a bed opens up in Brownsville.


A lot of what I write I do because I know people will read it and learn - at heart I am an educator.  People all over Brownsville feel helpless as they struggle to tend to their love ones at home because there are no nursing home beds available in Brownsville.

Based on my posting about my brother I was contacted by a woman living in hell over the problem.  She lost her job, her insurance, her marriage in on the rocks, and her father is suffering elderly abuse because there is nowhere to turn.  It is not that she is abusing him - the problem is she cannot care for him and he is suffering.

Several nursing homes lied to her about putting her father on the waiting list while claiming to put in for the Medicaid to pay for the care.  Once she realized she was being lied to repeatedly and there was no waiting list for Medicaid patients, she lost it.  Her health has collapsed.  She cannot care for herself.  She has no one to help her with her dad.

I took my chances and called the emergency number for Adult Protective Services in Austin and they told me this is all too common - the bed shortage is resulting in elderly in desperate need of nursing home care being neglected at home - not because the family is not trying, but because they literally cannot provide the care needed.

Within an hour the local representative for Adult Protective Services called the woman and told her to call an ambulance and have her father taken to the hospital.  Under the circumstances APS told her to refuse to retrieve her father once he is released.  She was acting under their orders.  It turned out he needed to go for dialysis so she had someone help her with that, but not before taking him to his private doctor to discuss the situation.  His private doctor agreed - after dialysis take him to the emergency room and then refuse to retrieve him upon discharge.

So long as you are acting under orders from APS you cannot be charged with abandonment of your loved one.  This then forces the hospital to find a nursing home to put the elderly person at the top of the list and they will get the first available bed.  Of course it will mean patients like my brother having to wait longer for a bed, but at least he has a bed unlike this man.

I live my life with the people - I reach out to the people - this is why I get the calls.  Unfortunately most of the time I have to tell people I do not have the time or energy to help them.  You can only help so many people when you have limited resources, time and are not charging for any services.


The poor mean nothing to our leaders.  If you are poor and do not have a credit report - good luck renting an apartment in this town even if you have a Housing Voucher which will pay for the rent.  It should be illegal for any landlord working with the Brownsville Housing Authority to deny housing to anyone because they do not have a credit report.  But the city commission knows nothing about these things because it is beneath them to associate with the poor.

They know nothing about the elderly and the nursing home crisis because it is beneath them to associate with the poor. 

Until we stop making poverty a crime and refuse to stop making laws which punish those for being poor, nothing will change.

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