Fly on the wall: 12 February 2010

Trying to make sense of a senseless situation:

On Monday 2/8/10, about 25 representatives from various Il state agencies, including IDPH, HFS, and IDPA, came to Somerset Place for the purpose of overseeing and facilitating the relocation of 300 residents by 3/10/10. They had informed families, residents and staff that they had developed a plan. If they had a plan, they truly were not sharing it with anyone. There was mass confusion amongst them, as they continuously contradicted themselves from one moment to the next. They didn’t even agree with each other about “the plan” let alone communicate a consistent message to management, residents, staff and families. Not one thing got accomplished in the first week of them being there. Instead of ensuring a smooth process for the residents, they have turned their home into a three-ring circus. Everyone is trying to get into the facility to get as many residents as they need. Finally the Governor sent in his assistant on Thursday who informed the facility and the state employees that transfers are to be postponed till at least 2/22/10, unless a guardian or family member insists, which will require most transfers to happen in a very short period of time. Great plan! …Not!

They are also conducting new PASRR screening on all the residents, to determine the appropriate level of care. In otherwords, to determine if nursing facility/24 hour supervision is required. Let it be known that they are screening some of the higher risk mentally ill residents that have criminal histories, with substance abuse problems as not needing 24 hour supervision or nursing facility level services. This is very confusing seeing as they decertified the facility for not providing enough care and supervision to these same indivisuals. Wait til the aldermans constituents get wind of this. They complained of not feeling safe while these residents were at Somerset, supervised, receiving services and medicated. How will they feel now if these individuals end up in shelters without services and no meds. Be careful for what you wish for, is what I say.
For the past several months Somerset Place has been so criticized by these same state agencies related to the management of the 300 plus chronically mentally ill residents.
I think some are now rethinking their arrogance.

The state employees have held group meetings with the residents who are constantly asking them, “Why are you kicking us out of our home, we like it here, they take care of us..Why can’t you tell us why? Can’t we stay here if we want, the staff take good care of us.”

I think the staff is starting to come out of their initial shock. Many cannot believe this is happening because it just simply does not make any sense…to anyone of us.


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