From a NYT piece
April 30, 2002 1:03 AM   Subscribe

From a NYT piece on the horrifying incompetence of NY mental homes: On a Thursday in June 2000, Mr. Ridges returned from his job and went to his room. He encountered Mr. Chapman and the two apparently argued over rap music, the police said. Mr. Chapman pulled out a brown and gold folding knife. He lunged, stabbing Mr. Ridges more than 20 times in the neck, sternum and arm. "Me and Greg Ridges didn't get along," Mr. Chapman told the detectives who arrested him. When Mrs. Ridges did not receive her customary phone call from her son that day, she called the home. An employee told her everything was fine. Wary, Mrs. Ridges went to the home that night, and no one would let her in. Several hours later, police officers showed up at her apartment and told her what had happened. I get sick of all the NYT pieces on here too, but, damn it, this is just haunting, a long visit in a demented underworld of society that most of us try to ignore. Well worth reading in its (extensive) entirety.
posted by gsteff (3 comments total)
I had the same thought this Sunday, gsteff -- this is an unusually FPP-worthy Times piece/series. A bit long for online reading, but worth printing out, perhaps (though that might be something of a tree-killer).

I'd be interested to hear from anyone on MeFi who's worked in one of these facilities -- is the level of neglect described in the articles typical?
posted by BT at 4:58 AM on April 30, 2002

I used to work in a super posh assisted living home in Edina, (one of the richest suburbs of Minneapolis). Only the really rich could afford to live there, and for close to $3000 a month, one would expect that the residents all got professional 24-hour individualized care. However, if you looked past the fancy furniture and the pretty receptionist, the place was staffed with people who often couldn't speak english, or even get a driver's license, much less take care of a roomful of extremely high maintenance residents (many of them suffering from dementia and other behavior problems aside from their health problems). On top of that, the place was incredibly disorganized and each worker had a very large work load. As a result, I've seen incontinent residents who were left to sit in their filth for hours, I've seen their medications get flushed when in a hurry, I've seen them go unbathed for weeks.

If it's this way in a supposedly luxurious assisted living home (not even a nursing home!), I can't even begin to imagine the horrors at an under-funded mental facility in NYC. American society really needs to change the way it takes care of its sick and elderly.
posted by jojo at 9:35 AM on April 30, 2002

I just wanted to say thanks for posting this, gsteff. I almost posted it myself, but you beat me to it.

It's worth the annoying NYT login.

The treatment of people with serious mental illness is one of the most tragic health care disasters in the U.S. and is almost entirely ignored by the press. Most people don't have a clue what goes on in these facilities.

Supermax prisoners get better treatment.
posted by mark13 at 5:20 PM on April 30, 2002

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