The Ottumwa Courier

Letters to the Editor

January 30, 2013

Caregivers urge a search for the real facts

CENTERVILLE — To our residents, our families, our friends, our employees, our community:

We, the caregivers of Golden Age Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Centerville, will not stand by while one opinion from the Des Moines Register speaks from incomplete information.

 We welcome those that will give their opinions to the media to spend a day in our world! Anyone who has worked in a nursing facility, assisted living or group home, you know us. You know why we do what we do every day! You know the satisfaction we get for all the long hours we put in! You know that there will be days when our hearts will be filled with joy and moments when every caring touch will bring us to our inner core! How dare anyone assume that a life lost while under our care was not an issue. Shame on you!

The statement supposedly made by our owner’s wife, Patricia Birchem, was completely taken out of context. To the Register reporter: You should be commended for the amazing job of keeping alive half-truths and feeding upon the negative gravitation of the universe!

Out of respect to our residents both present and past, our families and our employees, we shall not take the high road but the right road. We are human and mistakes happen, but to say we do not feel the loss of life could not be further from the facts! That said, when you attack us as caregivers, you attack the families who have chosen to be part of OUR home. You don’t have that right!

Our world is made up of people who have reached the “winter season of there lives.” For those of you who like to throw stones, we invite you to find the actual facts. Investigate the actual fines. There will never be a dollar amount attached to the loss of a life by those hearts and our careers on the line every day for our residents. We work for a company we believe in! We are an administrative staff that believes we can make a difference!

Stan Birchem


Golden Age Skilled Nursing and Rehab


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