Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hope I Die Before I Get Old

You can't make this stuff up -- and you really wouldn't want to.

Sigmund Bock, a 90-year-old Alzheimer's patient, was recently moved out of an assisted living home in California.

Would you like to know why?

Are you sure? It says quite a lot about how we treat the elderly in this country.

The reason we found out about this is that a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mr. Bock against Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo, California. The papers filed in the lawsuit are so eloquent that they're almost a poem. In fact, I have turned them into a poem (the wording is exact -- I've only changed the way the words are laid out and added capital letters at the beginning of lines).

The facility so literally ignored
The needs of their residents
As to allow vermin
In the form of a rat
To become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock
And die therein.

The parent company that owns the facility, Sunwest Management Inc. of Salem, Oregon, denied the allegations, according to the AP wire story in which I read about this incident.

Their denial is a poem as well:
We take care of our residents,
And find this negative publicity
To be a disheartening affront
To our professional caregivers
And most especially to our residents
And their loved ones.

Not quite as eloquent, though. Platitudes about patient care can't quite compete with a rat dying in a 90-year-old man's mouth.

Tom Moran


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