Nursing Homes | St. Louis Public Radio

Nursing Homes

Gerrie Gibson, left, has worked for Christian Care Home for 19 years.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio.

Workers for a Ferguson nursing home are three weeks into a strike over claims of unfair labor practices. Now, they’re receiving letters from the administrator of the Christian Care Home, telling them they’re being replaced.

In a Dec. 19 letter, administrator Donna Cooper told workers they would have preferential hiring status when there are vacancies if they choose to return. That shocked union nurse Ruby  Crymes, who sits on the bargaining committee. 

“We feel like they’re playing games with our lives,” Crymes said. “We even offered to go back with no raise now, with something on the back end six months later and they didn’t even accept that.”

The Christian Care Home at 800 Chambers Road in Ferguson. A union representing about 100 employees is planning for a strike to begin on Dec. 1, 2017.
Provided by SEIU Healthcare

After filing a federal complaint, nursing home workers at the Christian Care Home in Ferguson plan to strike outside the facility early Friday morning. Union officials said they are protesting unfair labor practices.

Brenda Davis, a certified medication technician, said that leadership cut back hours for staff and changed schedules without giving notice, or a chance for the union to bargain. That left many shifts understaffed.

“We just don’t have the help. There’s nobody there. The work is so heavy, we have literally had two people for a floor of 50 and 60 residents,” said Davis, a member of the union's bargaining committee.

Veterans Home resident Curtis Washington shares his concerns as his wife, Sandra, holds a microphone at an event, October 2017.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

This story has been updated.

Missed medications. Falsified records. A veteran with dementia placed in a scalding hot shower, unable to move.

One by one, concerned family members and employees of the St. Louis Veterans Home — some angry, others in tears — took to a microphone at North Kirkwood Middle School late Monday. They alleged that the 300-bed facility in north St. Louis County is so mismanaged that its care of aging residents amounts to neglect. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are particularly vulnerable, they said.  

How can you protect yourself from the spate of spams targeting older Americans?
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In 2011, one in four nursing home residents on Medicare was hospitalized. It’s an issue that impacts many facets of health care, from quality of life for nursing home residents to spending of taxpayer dollars, and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with a University of Missouri Nursing School professor about ways to reduce avoidable hospital admissions.

Seven dead from Legionnaires' disease at Quincy veterans' home

Sep 1, 2015
Front entrance to the Illinois Veterans' Home-Quincy. Seven have died in an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.
Jason Parrott | Tri States Public Radio

Illinois has confirmed three more deaths from Legionnaires' disease at a Quincy veterans' home, increasing the number of fatalities from the outbreak to seven. 

Officials have so far diagnosed 39 people with the disease and tests are pending for other residents. The veterans' home is working with the state and county health departments as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find the source.

St. Louis Elders Spur Boom In Care Facilities

May 4, 2014
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Perhaps the most visible sign of St. Louis’ baby boomers growing old is the local construction surge of senior licensed care facilities. Over the past three years, construction, renovation and expansion projects in the metro area have added up to nearly one quarter of a billion dollars with more development on the way.

Illinois raises rates for veteran nursing homes

Mar 13, 2012
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The state of Illinois is increasing the cost for military veterans to live in its nursing homes.

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs has notified residents of the increase. It's the first time the state has raised monthly fees for residents since 1979. Costs will rise starting July 1, going from about $930 per resident a month to about $1,430.