News

"It sucks in there": Residents on conditions at Cedar Haven as strike continues

Written by Daniel Walmer/The Lebanon Daily News | Oct 25, 2017 6:30 PM


Resident of Cedar Haven Richard Boyer believes the replacement caretakers are doing the "best they can" but can't replace the workers who have come to know the residents. (Photo: Michael K. Dakota, Lebanon Daily)

Cedar Haven residents expressed frustration Wednesday with the quality of care they are receiving as the nurses strike at the facility entered its sixth day.

Marion Weiant has never had cause to complain about the quality of nursing care at Cedar Haven - until now, she said. 

Since the strike began, Weiant, a three-year resident at Cedar Haven, said she is often not properly wiped after being changed, causing her concern about getting sores. Nurses also haven't gotten her out of bed until 11:30 a.m., more than two hours later than normal, she said. 

"I hollered, 'I want to get up.' And then they come in: 'well, just wait a minute.' And the minutes are longer and longer and longer," she said.

"It sucks in there," she added.

One night, she needed a nurse to lift her up so she could breathe better, she said. The first nurse she summoned said she needed to get help to lift her up, but never returned. Another nurse said she was on her lunch break so Weiant would have to wait.

"I told the administrator, I says, 'hey, we want our girls back.' He says, 'well, you got me.' And I said, 'yeah, but you don't wipe my ass,'" she said.

Resident Steve Nelson expressed similar concerns about the lateness in getting out of bed. He normally gets out of bed at about 9:30 a.m., but lately it's been closer to 11, he said. Also, Nelson requires an oxygen tank, and his oxygen levels have gotten lower than they should.

The nursing home is currently being staffed with nurses from U.S. Nursing Corporation. Richard Boyer, another resident, said the temporary nurses "seem nice enough," but "it's not the same as the regular crew."

On the positive side, Boyer said, residents are now being taken to the dining room for lunch and dinner. Family members had previously complained to the Lebanon Daily News that residents who typically eat in the dining room were being served in bed.

The three residents were holding signs while attending the picket line in support of the nurses Wednesday afternoon. The nurses are protesting a contract implemented by Cedar Haven owner Stone Barn Holdings that reduces paid time off and substantially increases employee contributions to their health insurance.

"(The strike) never had to happen, if only the owner would have worked with them," Boyer said.

To this point, Cedar Haven owner Chas Blalack has not agreed to sit down for additional negotiations, so the strike is expected to continue, said Steve Mullen, council director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Blalack did not immediately respond to a phone call or email requesting comment for this story. He said last week that Cedar Haven was "committed to making sure that any possible strike would not adversely impact our residents."

This story come to us through a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News

Tagged under , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »