Oklahomans gather to discuss the state’s low nursing home care ranking

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s a shameful truth, Oklahoma ranks 49th in the nation for the worst nursing home care, but what can be done to fix it?

Many people met at the State Capitol to discuss the changes that need to be made to nursing home care.

Some in the audience were in disbelief the debate over poor nursing home care system in our state is still an issue.

"I think it's absolutely outrageous that this has been going on for decades," said Fern Horton, a former nursing home resident.

Fern Horton said she's had life-threatening experiences inside an Oklahoma nursing home.

She said she faced abuse and being overly medicated.

"When I needed pain meds instead of one or two I got six. If I needed a laxative he ordered five. If I needed a diuretic, one isn't good enough, take two," said Horton.

Tom Coble with the Oklahoma Association for Health Care Providers apologized for horror stories like Hortons, but said lack of funding is a major barrier.

"One bad story is too many," said Tom Coble. "Anything that we can do that gives our industry the ability to really deliver care in a less restrictive manner would be very helpful," said Coble.

Solutions like expanding the rights of patients and creating a board that would review nursing home deaths were discussed at the State Capitol.

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