We are very concerned by the continued licensing violations, chronic understaffing, fiscal challenges, and low morale at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington. We believe these factors decrease the quality of care that our veterans receive and threaten the viability of the Home. We are proud to have one of the nation’s oldest veterans’ homes and we believe something must be done. We ask that management, elected officials and decision makers-- both in Bennington and Montpelier-- listen to the frontline workers to ensure the Vermont State Veterans’ Home remains an important part of our state.
We respectfully ask for:
• More Direct Care Nursing Staff: current ratios only meet the state bare minimum requirements and do not account for higher acuity, mental health challenges, coverage to transport residents outside the home, and coverage to release nursing staff for training. When direct care is understaffed, workers in all the departments are affected, creating a challenging environment for workers and veterans.
• Prudent fiscal management: we expect the only state run nursing facility to meet and exceed training and education standards that lead to better care and better fiscal management. Stop mandatory overtime and outsourcing of jobs that end up costing more.
• Increased Community Involvement: establish a Community Advisory Board to provide input on strengthening the Vets’ Home's presence in the community; mediate conflicts between staff, management and the community; assist in exploring new funding sources, activities, and programs that integrate the Vets’ Home with the Bennington community and beyond.