Why don’t we care more about poor nursing home care?

There was a news story update today referencing a May 2017 VA Pilot article about a Chesapeake nursing home being sued $17.5 M for patient negligence in 2016.  The lawsuit, filed by a patient and her daughter, alleges the elderly woman was tied to her wheelchair with bedsheets and given narcotic sedatives to quiet her.  There is much more to this story.

A/P photo

Nursing staff turnover rates are 55 – 75% and higher, on average.  Some nursing homes are managed by outside companies that simply staff locations without creating a consistent leadership or culture for staff to look up to.  Publicly-traded companies are putting profits over people in situations like this.  My question is: why do we allow this to happen in our own communities?




Tidewater Arts Outreach has been working to bring the community together in support of our frail, dependent elders for fifteen years.  We create arts outreach programs in nursing homes, adult day programs and assisted living facilities all over Hampton Roads, and we encourage the community to attend these programs and engage with the staff and residents there, through the arts.

These outreach programs aren’t the answer, but they are a start.  Being present, spending time at locations is a way to bear witness and to become familiar with the people and places right here in our neighborhoods.  It’s also a way to become more aware of the reality frail and chronically ill older adults face.  There are not enough of us visiting these places.

Older adults should be honored and respected.  They should be treated with dignity and encouraged to live life to the fullest.  It is up to us to protect and care for the least among us.  We can’t leave it up to these companies. 

Information about our June programs is hereWe hope you will take time this month to join us.  There has never been a better time to support our work, so we can continue serving older adults in Hampton Roads, and those who care for them, far into the future.  Thank you.