Lynn Crane, 63, has been living at Holly Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center off and on for two years. She asks, “If it’s so bad, why would I want to come back?”
Crane is one of four residents at the Nampa nursing home who contest recent news coverage about conditions at Holly Lane. That coverage started with a story in the Idaho Statesman about a state inspection in July that reported patient neglect and other problems.
They said they do not understand how state inspectors could have found such dangerous conditions that the nursing home was banned from taking new or returning patients.
Lisa Kraipowich, 53, has lived at Holly Lane continuously for almost two years. “This is our home,” she said. “We’re of sound mind and body, and we wouldn’t be here and wouldn’t have stayed if it had been as bad as everybody portrayed it to be.”
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Frank Hendrix, 48, arrived at Holly Lane in June. “I’ve been in two other nursing homes in my life, and let me tell you, this place has been a godsend,” he said.
Since publishing a story detailing the state’s report on Oct. 2, the Statesman has heard from dozens of people who lived, worked or had family members at Holly Lane. They said conditions and staffing at the nursing home have led to poor treatment for several years.
The team of state inspectors who went to the nursing home for a week in July found residents were underfed and dehydrated, left to sit in their urine and feces, and were not given adequate help with grooming. Inspectors saw nursing staffers turn off patients’ call lights and place the call lights out of reach. One man had died after being rushed to the hospital.
I just am appalled about how everybody has portrayed us to be — that we’re this messy nursing home. We’re clean, and everybody is clean, and we’re happy living here.
Lynn Crane, secretary and treasurer of Holly Lane residents council
But the four residents, including two officers of the nursing home’s residents council, say that’s not accurate.
The residents talked with the Statesman on Friday evening, in a group telephone call facilitated by the nursing home’s assistant administrator.
Leah Harper, 52, worked for 25 years outside of Idaho as a licensed practical nurse in hospital medical-surgical and intensive-care units. She arrived at Holly Lane in July, a few days before the state inspection began.
As a former nurse, she said, she pays close attention to how Holly Lane treats its residents and provides medical care.
“I’m told the state is not particularly happy with this facility, and I think to myself, ‘Why is that?’ Because from every department, I’ve received excellent care,” she said. “The therapy department, when I got here, I could only take two-and-a-half steps, and I had no stamina. Now I can walk 130 feet. ... I’m a diabetic, so the kitchen staff [has provided] anything I’ve needed in the way of food products or assistance.”
The residents said they could not make sense of the litany of problems state inspectors found at Holly Lane. They could not address the statements by nursing aides that managers told the staff to give better care to patients who could speak because they were more likely than nonverbal patients to complain.
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After reading the Statesman’s first story, Crane said some residents called the state inspectors to dispute the report. Some inspectors came to a council meeting two weeks ago and “just asked us questions,” she said.
“My guess is people ... were rowdy at the beginning and didn’t like it here, so they made it rough on themselves and our staff,” Crane said. “I just can’t imagine any of our staff doing that to anybody.”
The residents said the new administrator, Mike Borup, has improved care at Holly Lane and spends time out in the halls, talking with residents.
As an officer on the residents council, Crane said she has some responsibility for making sure all residents are happy.
“There for a while, yes, I will admit we were a little shorthanded, but you know what? The ones that were here, they worked their butts off to make sure we were taken care of,” she said. “It has gotten 100 times better than it was [earlier this year], but I thought it was always nice before.”
The Statesman previously requested but was denied access to the nursing home. Holly Lane’s parent corporation, Orianna Health Services, also did not accept the Statesman’s offer to respond to new allegations from former residents, residents’ families and employees.