No Place Like Home (1992)

Excerpt From the Cover Story:

Two years before Lambert put his father in Hillhaven, Mary Ropp checked her sister Linda Stewart into a nursing home in Charleston, West Virginia. Linda was 32 years old, and disabled by multiple sclerosis. "She was living with me, but I was having a difficult pregnancy," Ropp says. "She decided to go into a nursing home.

Stewart weighed 120 pounds when she checked into Capital City Nursing Home. Within three months she had lost nine pounds. She became dehydrated, her lips cracked and peeling. She developed bedsores, and was hospitalized several times for infections and internal bleeding. Her body contracted painfully.

Ropp, a janitor, complained repeatedly to the state, but Capital City was never fined. She tried writing U.S. Senator Robert Byrd. "We have reason to believe Linda isn't being fed," she told him. "Due to recent weight loss. One former employee was eating Linda's food instead of feeding her." 

In April 1991, Stewart died of an infection. She weighed 90 pounds.

 

Table of Contents

FEATURES
  • 8 - Hog Wild By David Cecelski and Mary Lee Kerr
    • Corporate hog farms are slaughtering family farmers and poisoning drinking water across the rural South.
  • 50 - Home Cheat Home By Mike Hudson
    • Taking out a home-equity loan? Beware: Big banks are preying on the poor, using high interest loans to steal low-income homes.
  • 54 - The South in Congress By Barry Yeoman, Bob Hall, and Laura Neish
    • Who's best, who's worst. SE rates the region's congressional representatives on 20 key votes.
  • 60 - Double Bubba By Barry Yeoman
    • The South rose again at the Democratic National Convention. But whose South was it?
COVER SECTION
  • 16 - No Place Like Home By Eric Bates
    • We've all heard the horror stories about nursing homes. So why do so many still provide so little care?
  • 22 - Resting Uneasy By Tinker Ready
    • How nursing homes and rest homes in North Carolina use their political and financial clout to protect business as usual.
  • 26 - Back-Breaking Care By Anne Clancy
    • Spending a day with a nursing home aide shows that even the best must struggle to do a good job.
  • 30 - "Because Someone Spoke Up" Interview by Ellen Forman
    • Fran Sutcliffe has been raising hell and reforming nursing homes for two decades — but she hasn't given up hope.
  • 36 - Where the Heart Is
    • Nursing homes are not the only option. Here are six non-profit alternatives that really work.
DEPARTMENTS
  • 2 - Dateline: The South Compiled by Mario Nebbitts
  • 4 - Southern News Roundup Compiled by Eric Bates
  • 41 - Southern Voices: Miss Elizabeth Interview by Kat Meads
  • 46 - Fiction: Snakes By Nanci Kincaid
  • 64 - Still the South: The Bible Belt By Mary Lee Kerr
Volume and Number: 
VOL. 20 NO. 9

Since 1973 Southern Exposure has gained critical praise for its thorough investigations, unsentimental portraits of Southern life, and public interest reporting.