West U. Looking Into Hiring Part-Time Nurse To Keep Watch Over Elderly Residents

June 24, 2008

The City of West U. is researching the possibility of hiring a nurse to check on the more than 150 West U. residents over the age of 85. The request initially came from Senior Services board and staff, who said that there are at least 20 of those residents who should be closely monitored.

“(There have been) three instances where they discovered people in dire straights – where people needed to be taken to the hospital,” said Councilman Chuck Guffey.

The proposed part-time position would enable a nurse to keep track of the older population and check up on them weekly. Geriatric Nurse Maureen Beck has offered to perform the service, with the city paying her $50 an hour, with an anticipated five hours a week. Guffey made it clear that Beck would not practice any medicine.

“There are services that do it in the county, but they aren’t very effective according to our staff,” said Guffey. “The fire department and police departments are in favor of this, because they end up having to handle these situations.”

Parks and Recreation Director Tim O’Conner indicated that there would be some bonding and insurance issues to consider, costs that would also have to be absorbed by the city. Councilman Bob Fry said he wanted all the questions answered before the issue was presented to council for consideration. Councilwoman Phyllis Cohen expressed concerns about legal liability.

“I do have some liability concerns about what role we are really saying we have, and if an intervention does not occur and something happens, what is the city’s liability?” said Cohen. “What really is the role we expect this person to play? Some people might not want this, some people might have some diminished capacity issues. I think conceptually there are a lot of positive issues, but we need to think it through.”

Guffey recommended the issue be put on a future agenda for consideration.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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