- Resident's Daughter
"Although I hope I never have a need for a foster home, there is no question in my mind that if I am ever faced with that type of need or have family members who need that type of care, the only place I would recommend strongly would be Hineni Home."
-Louis S. Libby, M.D. - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Oregon Clinic, P.C.
I was recently contacted by Kim Steward, who is the owner of A Caring Home, LLC, in Oregon City. My brother has been a resident of her facility for about a year and a half. He is on full life support — both oxygen and food. I am so grateful to have my brother at this wonderful place which he considers to be home.
Kim told me that you are in need of people to write about their experiences with ventilator patients and the lack of facilities for these people in Oregon. I can only say that is all too true, although, as I said, I am very grateful to have my brother at a Caring Home. He really lucked out in getting that room.
My brother has advanced muscular dystrophy. He was diagnosed at age 6 and led a fairly complete and active life up until about ten years ago. Then his health and muscular abilities started to decline in many complex ways. He had an accident three years ago when he was swallowing cornbread and choked. His caretaker/roommate called 911 and he was immediately put on a ventilator and taken to the hospital in Hood River, Oregon. He loves Hood River and would love to be living here closer to all his family.
But our local hospital did not feel qualified to meet his needs and sent him to Providence in Portland. He was there a few weeks and then transferred to Vibra in Portland. I think he was at Vibra for around 3 months. It was an extremely stressful time for all of us. At one point, my brother had improved, but not to the point of being able to go to a nursing facility. Vibra informed us that the also wasn’t sick enough to go
back to the hospital. They told us he would have to tum off the ventilator and pass away.
However, a big miracle happened that week and my brother got better. Good enough to transfer to a care facility. But there were none in Oregon that could take him In his condition. The only place Vibra had to recommend to us was Pacific Specialties in Vancouver, Washington. My brother and I were very happy at the time to have anywhere to go. But as his POA and only functioning relative (father passed of MD and our mother has advanced dementia), it was very difficult to deal with all the paperwork of transferring state. We would have much-preferred something in Oregon.
At that time, my brother was not considered well enough to qualify for an adult foster care home. Frankly, at Pacific Specialties, I was surprised that he improved at all, The quality of the care was beneath what I consider to be dignified for humans. He was turned and fed and kept alive, but the beds are crammed into the rooms and there is little time for personal attention. I felt like he was treated like a body, not a person.
However, somehow my brother heard about adult foster care and one of the management there took him under her wing and helped him find a place. Joanna Stedman is her name. She researched 4 different places that could possibly have my brother, and a 5th place closed up before I could look into it. I went to two of the homes to investigate openings, and frankly, I had to tell my brother I would not let him go there with the conditions and types of owners I found. The places appeared unsanitary, cramped and not in it for the patient. The other two ended up not being available.
Then, out of the blue, Joanna found A Caring Home, and they had an opening. However, my brother was about 8th on the list. Kim Steward called all the others, and none were quite ready to move. But my brother was. It was our lucky day.
It was difficult again to cross state lines what with all the paperwork, case workers, etc., but we made the move and Kim has given him excellent care from day one.
Homes like hers are next to impossible to find. Caring people such as she employs and trains, must be few and far between.
I am writing to say that I believe Oregon needs more facilities of this type available to ventilator patients. They are living out the last of their days and need to be as comfortable and cared for as possible. It is not a life anyone would ever envision for themselves. They are in a tight spot, and so are their families.
As it is, I have to travel 1.5 hours one way to see my brother. It pretty much takes up an entire day, and I work and have a child. It Is not easy to find time be with him. I know my brother would love to be living In Hood River, or even The Dalles, but no one is licensed to deal with ventilator patients in our area. I am grateful that at least he is as close as he is.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter. Kim Steward is tremendously knowledgeable about her field and provides phenomenal care. I would advocate that you listen and learn from whatever she can impart to you about her business and the nee s of her patients.
sister of resident
February 16, 2016
Moving Adult Foster Home residents to Washington State is not a good move.
My husband is a partial quadriplegic who was on a ventilator at Vibra Hospital in Oregon. When they could no longer do anything more for him there, it was decided he would need long term care which meant moving him to Washington State…bad Idea.
He was moved to Pacific Rehab and the nightmare began. There he had a feeding tube placed in his abdomen and because of poor care of the area, it turned SEPTIC and he was hospitalized to have it removed.
Upon his return to Pacific, the care was still very poor. Nurses were not attentive to his needs and the management was beyond caring except to •scold” the patient for always “needing something”. I was actually called into the “directors” office and told that my husband “rang the nurses too many times”.
The “doctor” that “saw” my husband, told me he would “NEVER” be able to breathe on his own, ALWAYS having to depend on the vent. This “doctor” checked him ‘occasionally” and only made decisions based on what the staff relayed to him.
I live in Troutdale OR and the daily drive 7 days a week (after working all day and weekends) to Washington was taking a toll on me, but I was afraid for my husband’s safety and so continued to do this month after month. A decision was made to look into an Adult Foster Home in Oregon who could take a ventilator patient.
Unfortunately, at the time I was looking, there were only 3 homes who took vent patients, 2 of which were in Tigard and Beaverton. Both these homes were run by individuals who had no onsite nursing staff.
I was fortunate enough to find A Caring Home in Oregon qty which is owned by an RN and has CNA’s on staff. She came to Pacific Rehab to talk to my husband and I visited her facility in Oregon City. A decision was made days later to transfer my husband to her home.
The constant care and attention to his medical needs led to my husband eventually being weaned “entirely off the vent” and breathing on his own, which the “doctor” at Pacific Rehab said would NEVER happen. There is staff 24/7 at A Caring Home and the owner is also available 24/7. There are other doctors and a nurse practitioner that see the residents there on a regular basis which gives me comfort knowing he is finally in a safe environment.
Please do not send Oregon patients to Washington State as it would seriously cause undue concern and hardship on so many families.
wife of resident