Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: July 31

Most long-term care providers dedicated, loving

I have worked in long-term care for the past nine years, five of them as a nursing home administrator in Kentucky. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most wonderful and compassionate people.

The overwhelming majority of people in the long-term care industry truly care about the people they serve and do not tolerate abuse or neglect, which rarely occur. Our industry has always been, and continues to be, regularly attacked by those who have either had a bad experience or profit from tarnishing the image of long-term care.

We frequently receive letters, cards and phone calls from family members telling us how pleased they are with the care their family member is receiving or has received while residing at our facility. Many referrals that we receive are from family members of residents. Some former residents choose to come back when they need long-term care services again.

The professionals who dedicate their lives to care for those who rely on long-term services deserve to be honored and uplifted for the care they provide every day. They do not deserve to be portrayed as uncaring and incompetent people who take advantage of the elderly and the infirm. This is just not true.

Janna D. Partin

Administrator, Barbourville Nursing HomeBarbourville

I have worked in health care now for almost 14 years and can honestly say that I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I work at Knott County Health and Rehabilitation Center, a facility in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.

The center is the greatest place to work. The residents here receive top-notch, quality care. Our nursing staff works diligently every day to ensure that our residents reach their maximum potential. The staff always helps each other out, and our residents are happy and content.

Our housekeeping department keeps our home smelling clean and fresh. The decor is like that of a five-star hotel and our residents are treated like royalty. Our activity calendar is full of daily events for residents. We have many volunteers and church groups that come regularly, and we are always looking for ways to bring our community here.

We have a wonderful team of employees who want nothing other than to care for and provide for our residents. We welcome you to come see our great facility.

There are people who care and want our elderly and loved ones to be cared for as they deserve.

Hollie Thacker

Social Service/Activity DirectorKnott County Health and Rehabilitation CenterLeburn

I am a registered dietitian and am constantly in and out of many facilities. I have had the great privilege of working in the long-term care industry for the past 12 years throughout numerous facilities in south-central and Eastern Kentucky.

I have been amazed with the level of kind and compassionate care that is given by the staff. Many times I have seen concerned employees visit on their days off to check on a sick resident. I have observed as they laugh with residents during a fun activity. I have been touched as they have cried with families of a dying residents.

I appreciate the Herald-Leader's efforts to bring light to any wrongdoing that is occurring regarding our elderly. I caution you next time to consider the excellent care that most of our Kentucky elderly receive on a daily basis, and not just focus on isolated incidents of poor care and abuse.

Lora Arnold Jacobs


I have followed the Herald-Leader series on nursing homes. I would certainly agree that negligence and lack of caring are unacceptable.

But I would also suggest that if a nursing home task force is established, members would be required to spend two weeks actually working on a nursing home floor before they could serve. Only then is it possible to fully appreciate the sudden and unanticipated difficulties and problems that often arise, often with unintended consequences.

They might also become more aware of the enormous love and caring found in circumstances that are often challenging and demanding. Often those who are critical seem rarely to find the positive.

Dr. Gerard A. Weigel


I have worked at Knott County Health and Rehabilitation Center for the past 32 years. I really like my job here. I try to please the residents by keeping their rooms neat and clean and doing laundry daily.

In 2007, my family and I had a huge decision to make regarding my father. My mother had just passed away and my father was no longer able to care for himself at home. My family placed my father here at the center. He has the best of care and I have the best of both worlds. I can visit my father on my break times and go home and not worry that he is being cared for.

Everyone cares about each other here. A smile or kiss or even a hug makes my job worth it all.

Jewel Tibbs

Housekeeping and Laundry Supervisor, Knott County Health & Rehabilitation CenterEmmalena

When I was a young boy, I remember my family saying that they didn't want to place a loved one in a nursing home. As time would tell, once my grandmother got so sick that my family couldn't take care of her at home, it was time to make the decision to place Granny in a nursing home. She was placed in a Lee County nursing home and was treated well there until her death.

Later, my uncle's illness got so bad that he, too, had to be placed in a nursing home. He spent time in nursing homes in Lee and Owsley counties and was treated as best as he could have been at both places.

My wife works at the Wolfe County Health Care nursing home. You could not find a better place for someone when they can't provide for themselves or their family can't provide the care needed.

The employees get attached to the residents and become part of their family. I know my wife will call the home to check on residents at night and weekends if she knows or feels like one of the residents is feeling poorly. A lot of the employees visit the funeral home when one of their own passes away.

I am sure there is some abuse in nursing homes, but people shouldn't judge all by the way a few bad homes operate.

Roscoe Moore Jr.